M’sia has “largest illicit cigarette incidence”

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In 2009, as much as one out of three packets consumed in Malaysia was illicit, a cigarette firm has revealed.

The firm, JT International, cited the Global Tobacco Report by Goldman Sachs Research, which estimated that “the Malaysian market boasted the largest illicit cigarette incidence in the world in 2009”.

“JT International Berhad is concerned that illicit cigarettes may continue its growing dominance of the market and appeals to the Government to take the necessary steps to limit the growth of illicit cigarettes, including the adoption of a moderate taxation policy,” the firm said in a press release.

Gives a whole new meaning to the term ‘market-friendly policies’, eh?

How is this happening, MACC? (Not that I have much sympathy for cigarette firms.)

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Zarihah Zain

There shouldn’t be ‘market friendly policies’ for any products that are directly harmful to public health such as tobacco and alcohol. The very high rates of illicit tobacco trade claimed by the tobacco industry is only the high end of a range and do not reflect the average true picture. Shouldn’t we be very worried because high rate of illicit trade is an ugly reflection of high level of corruption in the country. The right solution to this problem is not to reduce tobacco tax but rather to get rid of corruption and improve on the enforcement capacity. Raising tobacco… Read more »