Public Health: Should Malaysia Use Sin Taxes for Health Funding?
Azrul Mohd Khalib, CEO, Galen Centre for Health & Social Policy | YB Dr Lee Boon Chye, Former Deputy Minister of Health
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RM30.6 billion – that’s the amount that the Malaysian government collected from excise taxes on cigarettes, tobacco products and alcohol, from 2012 to 2017. Compare that to the ever-increasing cost of treating non-communicable diseases like cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, which is placing enormous pressure on public funds, as well as individuals’ private savings. With concerns that the COVID-19 pandemic will divert already scarce resources from preventive health programmes, we explore whether Malaysia should earmark the billions of ringgit collected from alcohol and tobacco taxes annually to fund public health.
Image source: Shutterstock
Produced by: Janese Wong & Tee Shiao Eek
Presented by: Tee Shiao Eek
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