Cabinet to discuss sugary drink tax


The next meeting of the Cabinet will discuss a proposal to impose a sugary drink excise tax, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail (picture) said yesterday.

She said the proposal is one of 12 policies for a healthy lifestyle, which were agreed to at a meeting of the Cabinet Committee for a Health-Promoting Environment yesterday.

Dr Wan Azizah, who is also Women, Family and Community Development Minister, said it is one of the efforts of the government to create a healthy living culture and curb non-communicable diseases among the people.

“We have not worked out the details of the tax. We will bring it to the Cabinet. Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng will refine it.

“The revenue from this tax may be placed in the Consolidated Fund,” she said at a press conference after chairing the meeting, which was attended by representatives from 12 ministries.

She said several countries, such as Brunei, the Philippines, Thailand and Mexico, have imposed the tax.

Dr Wan Azizah said the meeting also agreed to raise the capacity of the school ecosystem to upgrade the nutritional status of school children.

She also said the policy towards a healthy lifestyle also involves gazetting recreational areas yet to be gazetted as conservation areas.

It also involves conducting a quit-smoking service at health centres and public and private universities through the mQuit programme, and tightening control and enforcement of the illegal cigarette trade in the country, she said.

Dr Wan Azizah said the meeting also agreed to require weight management programmes at selected ministries or departments, and making it mandatory to provide healthy food in cafeterias, workplaces and universities.

Health Minister Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad also attended the meeting. — Bernama