Friday, February 29, 2008


Daily crackdown on cigarette peddlers

A motorist has called for action to be taken to stop the rampant contraband cigarette peddling activities at Kampung Air as both the sellers and buyers are causing traffic problem. Kefli said his car nearly crashed into the back of the car in front of him when the driver braked abruptly with the intention to buy cigarettes from one of the peddlers. He said the peddlers, believed to be mostly foreigners or illegal immigrants, were pestering motorists and pedestrians to buy the smuggled cigarettes from them when the incident happened. “Recently I almost hit a vehicle in front of me when the vehicle suddenly stopped without giving any signal. The action of this motorist, who seems to encourage these illegal activities, can someday cause an accident, especially in the evening,” he said. Kefli said the relevant authorities should have stopped such illegal activities right in the heart of the city, which could give foreign tourists the impression of lawlessness. He said it is ironical that such activities are ignored by the authorities while the Government has been at the same time carrying out a nation-wide anti-smoking campaign. Unless this problem is overcome, there is no way how the campaign and increases in prices of cigarettes will discourage smoking, he said. A spokesman for Kota Kinabalu City Hall said many operations have been carried out to curb these activities. He said such operations are usually carried out together with the Customs and Immigration departments. “We have been conducting operations every evening pertaining to such cases and still are. We do always carry out operations in the city area. So to conduct more operations against the activities is in our plans,” he said.