Dear Dr Dzulkefly and Pn Zuraida, Ban Smoking in Dwelling Units Across Malaysia

Dear Dr Dzulkefly and Pn Zuraida, Ban Smoking in Dwelling Units Across Malaysia

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laiyi yip started this petition to Ministry of Health Malaysia and

Dear Dr Dzulkefly and Pn Zuraida,

 

I read with hope and inspiration on your intention to improve and expand the scope of the Tobacco Control Act. I applaud your successful effort in banning smoking in eateries nationwide; countless of us and the generations to come have you to thank for this deed. I hope we will not regress in the future.

 

I live in a high-rise condominium community in the Kuala Lumpur. Due to its proximity to many central business districts, it is a popular choice of accommodation of the foreign Indian nationals, who work in Astro and Maxis. Needless to say, these expatriates imported from another third world country have brought along their patriachal attitudes, and using the hypothesis of safety in numbers, these foreigners have flouted certain local laws and ignored the good conduct of community living in Malaysia. Having said this, the culprits can be Malaysians as well, as even in my sister’s more high-class condominium community, we encountered the same problem. We ‘enjoy’ the cigarette smoke on the twenty-third floor of our unit, wafting from her neighbouring units below and next door. It kills our souls little by little as times goes by because we sit, sleep and live in this tainted environment, knowing fully well that the smokers robbed us of natural air and no one is helping to make matters right. If this goes uninhibited, more people are emboldened to smoke on their balconies, window sills of their bathrooms, their bedrooms, the common areas, staircases and all sorts of opening with no regard for their neighbours’ well-being. Soon all our high-rise residential buildings will turn into unhealthy trap for increasing Malaysians who live in such structures.

 

Numerous complaints have been made to my management team but the usual excuse given is that residents are free to do whatever they wish within their dwelling units, (perhaps this includes running drug and prostitution rings, scamming schemes!). While it makes lots of common sense to ban smoking in eateries and public places, it makes much more sense to ban smoking in any dwelling units/area where these units are stacked one upon another. It doesn’t help that the old designs of many of the apartment and condominium blocks, make the dissipation of harmful fumes and smoke painfully slow and agonizing, long enough for it to seep into our units. For this, I hope the Ministry of Housing and Local Government will incorporate this ban into our laws to strengthen our effort of making our dwelling areas clean and healthful. I wish to ask for a blanket ban on smoking/vaping and its variations within the appropriate vicinity of any dwelling units of any medium- and high-rise building and enable us to take actions against the owners and the tenants, (and including any workers/contractors) for any such breach, to encourage healthy living especially for children and those with health problems.

 

Thank you very much.

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