KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 11, 2015:

MCA has urged Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob not to turn vaping into a racial issue as it was a national health concern.

Kelantan MCA State Liaison Committee secretary Datuk Lua Choon Hann said the Rural and Regional Development Minister should also cease politicising the matter.

Lua said the Bera lawmaker’s recent remark on the latest Health Ministry directive to only allow licensed pharmacists and registered medical practitioners to sell nicotine-laced vapes would “kill the Malay-dominated industry” was illogical.

“Any responsible government will put the people’s health and wellbeing first, and nothing should override this. If the minister’s reasoning is anything to go by, will he also use the same reasoning to oppose the government ban should there emerge a new drug in the market in future?” Lua asked in a statement today.

Lua added the issue was under the purview and discretion of the ministry, which has its own mechanisms for testing and verification.

Ismail Sabri, he said, should instead concentrate on his job in his own Rural and Regional Development ministry and not interfere with the works in the Health Ministry.

Lua said the party also also wanted the government to review the effectiveness of the existing laws pertaining to vaping as technology and products, and even crimes, which evolve with the times.

Some regulations, he argued, may have been rendered obsolete and needed to be fine-tuned.

“Nevertheless, the vaping issue, whether viewed from a consumer or a seller’s perspective, should not be racially tinted,

“As such, any formulation, amendment and implementation of the related laws should take into consideration the welfare of all races, rather than be narrowly confined to the benefits of a particular race or community alone.”

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