KUALA LUMPUR: Two vape industry bodies today called on the government to listen to the industry and review the Generation End Game (GEG) policy again.
Both agencies also pointed out that a public petition on Malaysia Bersuara garnered over 600,000 signatures protesting the GEG policy.
The Malaysian Vape Chamber of Commerce (MVCC) and Malaysian Vape Industry Advocacy (MVIA) have consistently called for the GEG to be carefully reviewed as it will significantly impact the industry.
MVCC secretary general Ridhwan Rosli said that since the GEG was first proposed early this year, many in the vape industry have shared their concerns, as the impact of this policy on the industry would be significant.
"Beyond affecting Bumiputera entrepreneurs, the GEG sets a very wrong and negative stance on vape, which has been widely used as a tool for smoking cessation by smokers.
"This petition garnered over 600,000 signatures, demonstrating that the wider Malaysian community also shares the same sentiments as we do.
"The government and the Ministry of Health (MoH) cannot ignore the voice of the public," he said in a statement today.
These views were also echoed by MVIA, adding that the agency has attempted to engage with the MoH and the Parliamentary Special Select Committee (PSSC) but to no avail.
MVIA president Rizani Zakaria said the association has also requested for meeting with the PSSC, but the requests have been ignored.
"Our submissions to the MoH minister and PSSC members have also fallen on deaf ears despite our many appeals.
"Now, with the petition garnering such attention, the government cannot ignore the voices of half a million Malaysians.
"The MoH and PSSC must understand that this policy affects many layers
of Malaysians. Therefore, they cannot continue listening only to anti-vape individuals and groups," he said.
Rizani said the GEG impacts many layers of Malaysian society, therefore, it should be studied and discussed with all parties before making a decision.
The Malaysia Bersuara petition, which rejects the GEG entirely, cites four key reasons: the GEG will create a generation of criminals, take away an individual's right to equality and freedom, fuel the illegal market, and the policy does not differentiate between vape and cigarettes.