KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 8, 2016:

The Small and Medium Scale Entrepreneurs Alliance of Malaysia (Ikhlas) has called on traders of electronic cigarettes to continue with their businesses, saying that the authorities and state governments were acting unconstitutionally in banning them from doing so.

Ikhlas president Mohd Ridzuan Abdullah said this was because the government had last year said that “vaping” would not be banned in the country.

“We want to call on all vape entrepreneurs and traders in all states, except Johor, to go ahead with their businesses as we are acting in accordance to the law.

“The Health Ministry did not say it would be banned, only the National Fatwa Council had declared it as ‘haram’, but this still means that they (traders) can still do their businesses.

“Who can stop us? The local councils cannot stop us. We also ask all the Menteris Besar to learn the Federal Constitution, including the Local Council Acts, as they do not understand the Acts involved.

“They should learn the Constitution before taking action against the vape issue,” he told a press conference in Kota Damansara here this afternoon.

Ridzuan also questioned why the National Fatwa Council did not ask the Department of Islamic Development (Jakim) to take action against conventional cigarette smokers.

“Why don’t it ask Jakim to catch (regular cigarette) smokers when the council said it has been declared haram?”

“They catch those who gamble and drink alcohol, but they do not take action against those who smoke.

“Is it because ministers themselves smoke?”

Ridzuan said the Health Minister, and Menteri Besar in several states had not respected the Cabinet’s decision not to ban vaping by going ahead with disallowing traders who opened vaping shops.

“We can see that they do not respect the Prime Minister,” he said.

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