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FMM warns of ‘domino effect’ of GEG bill

FMM In The News: FREE MALAYSIA TODAY, PETALING JAYA, Thursday, October 6, 2022 - The Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) has warned that the Generational End Game (GEG) bill could lead to a “domino effect” on the business community and economy.

FMM president Soh Thian Lai said the bill could cause an increase in unemployment if not managed properly, as it would force businesses involved in the supply chain of tobacco and vape products to trim their workforce due to less revenue.

He said the policy could also turn investors away as Malaysia could be deemed a “restrictive country”.

“The GEG policy sets a precedent that could be imposed onto other industries in the future for similar reasons,” he said in a statement.

Soh called on Putrajaya to engage all stakeholders first, especially those involved in the tobacco and vape supply chain, from manufacturers, warehouses, logistics and distributors to sundry retailers, convenience stores and coffee shops.

The GEG bill, which has been approved by a parliamentary select committee (PSC), is set to be tabled for its second reading in the Dewan Rakyat today.

The bill seeks to ban the use, possession and sale of cigarettes and vape products for those born after 2007.

Soh agreed that action was needed to curb smoking in the country, but said the government’s focus should be on tackling illicit tobacco products.

“The GEG policy does not address this issue and instead may lead to worsening the illegal cigarette trading activities further,” he said, calling for a win-win solution from the government to tackle smoking without affecting the economic climate.

The GEG bill has sparked debate from industry players and MPs over several matters including separate legislation for vaping, reduction of fines, and infringement on basic human rights in the event that authorities abuse their power through unwarranted or non consensual searches.

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