The Health Ministry will seek out an appointment with tech company Facebook Inc over the blocking of its hotline number. It is for the people to forward complaints of individuals smoking at eateries via WhatsApp.
The ministry had start up the 010-860 8949 hotline via WhatsApp to bring about problems by the public who like to report errant smokers.
The public can even submit their complaints with photographic evidence of people who overlook the smoking ban.
But, messages delivered to the hotline now not able to go through. Since there is no “double tick” sign on the user’s WhatsApp to indicate they have been received.
In response, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad stated the ministry would certainly look for a conversation with Facebook representatives over the issue.
“The Health Ministry would be having a discussion with Facebook in earliest possible time to identify the right alternative,” he stated.
He explained that the hotline to assist the public to get reports to the ministry. When there is smokers lighting up in public places that announced no-smoking zones.
Under smoking ban, which commenced on Jan 1 this year, smokers could only light up 3m off from an eatery.
The Health Ministry recently extended the six-month educational enforcement period to the end of this year.
Starting out Jan 1 next year, smokers who break the smoking ban will deal with a compound of around RM250.
Offenders who fail to negotiate the compound could hauled to court and slapped with a RM10,000 fine or even 2 years’ jail.