The governor of Bali, Made Mangku Pastika, has threatened to close the international tobacco and smoking accessories exhibition if it continues to be held on the island on February 27-28.
“We will close it. How dare they violate it (regulation),” he said after attending an event for collecting aid supplies for natural disaster victims here on Sunday evening.
He said the regional government banned the holding of the exhibition on the island because smoking is not healthy and Bali has a regulation banning smoking in certain areas.
“It is impossible for us to violate a rule that we ourselves have made,” he said.
The governor said that he has already sent a notice to the committee for the Inter-Tabac Asia tobacco exhibition based in Germany stating the rejection.
Bali deputy governor Ketut Sudikerta meanwhile said he hoped the exhibition could be moved to other locations.
“We have advised the committee to hold the event in other locations such as in East Java or in Central Java which have tobacco plantations,” he said.
He said it would be difficult for the provincial government to implement the regulation of non-smoking zones if the exhibition is forced to be held in Bali.
A board member of the Tobacco Control Network, Titik Suhariyati, meanwhile said that the world would laugh at Indonesia if the Inter-Tabac exhibition would continue to be held in Bali.
“Most countries in the world reject it. If we, who have a non-smoking regulation, allows it what would they say about us,” he said.
Titik said a number of representatives from Indonesia, Cambodia, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Timor Leste, the US and Vietnam have expressed hope that Indonesia and the Bali provincial government would ban the exhibition.