KUCHING: The Kuching South City Council (MBKS) will look into creating smoking zones at Saradise, Galacity and CityOne before extending it to other eateries.

Mayor Datuk Wee Hong Seng revealed that he had spoken to the management of the three shopping areas on providing smoking zones to cope with the enforcement of smoking ban at eateries effective Jan 1.

“For Saradise, we will be sending our officers down together with the owner within this week to locate the appropriate location for the infrastructure.

“We are now concentrating on these three and after that, we will be moving to other shopping malls, coffee shops and eateries,” he said, adding that Vivacity already has its own smoking zones at the carpark areas.

When asked whether MBKS would be issuing any notice or fine to the public, Wee replied in the negative.

“That is under the Health Ministry. And since that is their jurisdiction, we will not cross over to their side,” he told reporters after chairing a council meeting yesterday.

Wee also mentioned that the councillors would have a dialogue with the hawker centres to see how they can implement the straw ban in the city like what Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) did.

“Give us another one or two months and we will be able to talk to them,” he continued.

Wee opined that the use of straws was unnecessary as the consumers could just drink straight from the glass or directly from the canned drink.

“It’s not like a spoon that you need to pick the food up … you just pour it and drink.

“If you can drink coffee and tea without the straw, why do you need a straw for every drink that you serve?” he questioned.

He went on to say that if the hawkers could pick up this straw ban, they would be happier because it would save on their operation cost.

“And if the hawkers are able to implement it, I hope the public will be able to accept it,” he said.