MALAYSIA. The Malaysian government has issued a statement today via local newspaper The Star, saying that comments made by Health Ministry Officials earlier in the week regarding the abolition of duty free tobacco were not government policy.
Speaking to The Moodie Report, International Travel Retail Confederation (ITRC) director-general Keith Spinks said: “It’s great news that it’s not yet government policy but it’s clear that it is Health Ministry policy.”
Spinks said that the situation remains a serious threat although “maybe not as imminent as we first thought.”
He added: “The important lesson of all of this is that the industry must not find out about government policy through the press.” The industry should research and anticipate government reaction in each market, not merely react to it, he added.
“My message to the trade is that this is South Africa number two,” Spinks told The Moodie Report [the industry successfully warded off the proposed abolition of duty free tobacco sales in the country earlier this year]. “We must continue to be vigilant.”
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