The non-smoking rule in restaurants seemed to be in place when the Health Ministry enforced it earlier this year, but now we see patrons back to happily puffing away at eateries, oblivious to their surroundings.

It is this act of defiance that has landed a man in trouble with a restaurant owner in Kulim, Kedah.

According to Harian Metro, the incident happened about 2.15 pm yesterday at a restaurant in Taman Selasih.

After having a meal at the restaurant, the 51-year-old customer lit up a cigarette, but he was told not to, by the shop's owner.

When the customer ignored his request, the 50-year-old restaurant owner became enraged and an argument ensued between the two.

The squabble then escalated into a fight, and the shop owner took a meat cleaver to use it against the customer, who sustained a slight cut on his abdomen as he managed to dodge the blade.

The fight was eventually broken up by the other patrons at the restaurant. Police have detained both the shop owner and the customer to facilitate investigation, Kulim police chief Superintendan Azhar Hashim told the daily tabloid.

Azhar further reminded restaurant patrons to not smoke at the premises to prevent the recurrence of such incidents.

The smoking ban at all eateries nationwide, which was enforced by the previous Pakatan Harapan government, came into effect on Jan 1, 2020.

Patrons who light up at eateries and the premise owners who allow the act are slapped with a RM250 compound for the first and second offences, and the amount is increased to RM350 for the third offence.

Source: Harian Metro
Photo source: Astro Awani