Friday, December 28, 2018

No smoking' signs go up in Shah Alam public spaces from Jan 1

No smoking' signs go up in Shah Alam public spaces from Jan 1

PETALING JAYA: No smoking signs will be put up in public spaces around Shah Alam come Jan 1, in line with the federal government's directive to ban smoking in all eateries nationwide, says Shah Alam City Council (MBSA) mayor Datuk Ahmad Zaharin Mohd Saad.

Though the directive is meant for restaurants, Ahmad Zaharin said he fully supported the idea of discouraging smoking elsewhere in order to educate the public.

We will put up no-smoking signs in public spaces, like parks, for example, and maybe have a corner for smokers. 

"We are still studying that.

"Other business operators, like restaurants, would have to get their own signboards done and displayed at their premises," he said after chairing the council's last full board meeting of 2018.

On Wednesday (Dec 27), representatives from all local councils in the Klang Valley attended a briefing by the Health Ministry on the guidelines and mechanism of the smoking ban.

"Once we get all the necessary information from the ministry, we will start issuing notices to restaurant operators and take further action where necessary," Ahmad Zaharin said.

In terms of enforcement and manpower, existing officers would have to take on more tasks to aid in enforcing the smoking ban, he added.

It was previously reported that the first six months of eateries in the country being gazetted as non-smoking zones from January would serve as a grace period for smokers.

In addition, 24-hour restaurants in Shah Alam will also have to comply with MBSA's compulsory two-hour cleaning ruling that will come into effect next year. 

"In fact, we have already implemented the two-hour cleaning period for all 24-hour restaurants, but we have not stated it in their business licence yet.

"Now, we will take this more seriously and include the cleaning and operating hours in their business licence, both for new applicants and those renewing for next year," the mayor said.

Currently, MBSA is still mulling a suitable fixed time when restaurants must close for two hours every day for cleaning to take place.

One of the suggestions given during the meeting was between 2am and 4am.

A standardised cleaning hours would be more convenient for customers, while making it easier for enforcement officers to monitor whether operators are in compliance.

On a separate matter, councillor Siow Fun Yean urged enforcement officers to form a task force and inspect the many kindergartens mushrooming around the Setia Alam neighbourhoods.

"In some neighbourhoods, you can even see at least 10% of the houses have been converted into kindergartens," he said.

Siow said some of them might not be licensed. He expressed hopes that officers would take prompt action.


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