The Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act 2010 will be enforced from today to protect consumers.
Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the law prohibited traders from indiscriminately raising prices of goods.
He said the new Act, which would also nullify the old Price Control Act 1946, would enable the ministry to act faster against unscrupulous traders.
Ismail Sabri cited traders who took advantage of the previous H1N1 outbreak to increase prices of face masks excessively.
Following the enforcement of the Act, a 10-member Price Advisory Council, to be headed by the ministry’s secretary-general Datuk Mohd Zain Mohd Dom, will be set up.
Comprising six members from the public, non-governmental organisations and industries, and four government officials, it will decide on a mechanism that will determine what is deemed as profiteering or making unreasonably high profits.
It will take into consideration the operational costs of the traders like taxes, suppliers’ costs, supply and demand conditions and geographical locations or product market circumstances.
A corporate body commiting an offence under the Act will be liable to a fine of up to RM500,000, while the second or subsequent offences will carry a fine of up to RM1 million.
Individuals found guilty of committing offences under the Act will face a a fine not exceeding RM100,000, or three years’ jail, or both, and for the second and subsequent offences, the penalty is a fine of up to RM250,000 or five years’ jail, or both.
Enquiries about the new Act can be made via the ministry’s toll-free line 1-800-88-6800.