Monday, May 23, 2005

JAPAN THE THIRD WORLD COUNTRY

I came across a blog by a Malaysian young lady who professes to dig the eyeballs out of anyone who dares to telephone her from 8:00 to 10:00 pm in the evening.

Reason: she would be watching the Chinaman dramas on TV.

Thought it was hilarious until I saw the excessive foul language in her posts.

I went limp immediately.

While I will not dislodge any balls from anyone's anatomy, I howl when I have to work past 6:30 pm in the evening.

It is the time when I mount my bicycle to head for home, to enjoy dinner with my waiting missus.

Twice a month on Mondays, however, I have to teach an evening class to the graduate students.

Luckily, the students are normally a fun bunch as they are matured students.

They come from a variety of occupations; some are even bosses of Small & Medium companies.

I enjoy their Question & Answers, which are often based on their real life working situations.

Anyway, I am here to praise Malaysia's efforts in instituting the many no-smoking laws in restaurants and public arenas, among other places.

Dare I say... this is one aspect that would rate Japan as a third world country and Malaysia near to first world country.

Japan smokes...

While I am too lazy to lay out the figures, Japan is reported to have the worst smoking rates among developed nations.

My missus and I do not like to eat out.

It being expensive is one thing, but it is the smoke in the restaurants that kill our urge.

Sometimes we can find no-smoking seats in the restaurants, but they are usually just as engulfed by exhaust fumes as the smoking seats.

So, why take the trouble to go to a restaurant, pay a bundle, and ending up not enjoying the occasion?

About eighty percent of Japanese men used to smoke.

These days, about 50 percent of them puff.

Meanwhile, about thirty percent of women lit up.

The troubling trend is the increased rate among young girls.

In this light, I applaud the Malaysian Council for Tobacco Control in urging the government to put a stop to a tobacco fair planned for November.

Why, the Council asks, when the government tells people to 'Tak Nak'?

Is it because some pot-bellied politikus has to make some money again out of this tobacco fair?

How about hearing the government say 'Tak Nak' itself?


Excerpts from The Star, Monday May 23, 2005...

Say no to tobacco fair, Government urged

KUALA LUMPUR: A tobacco control authority here is disappointed that the green light has been given for an international tobacco fair to be held here later this year despite the Tak Nak anti-smoking campaign.

It will diminish whatever anti-smoking efforts we have made, said Malaysian Council for Tobacco Control president Prof Dr Syed Mohamed Aljunid.

This is especially in light of the Government's strong support for anti-smoking activities, Dr Syed Mohamed said, adding that India and Bangladesh had refused to let the expo be held in those countries.

A private German firm has been given permission to hold the Emerging Tobacco Markets 2005 expo here from Nov 14 to Nov 16.