PUTRAJAYA, April 25 ― The Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumer Affairs Ministry has plans to double the maximum penalty that the Consumer Claims Tribunal can mete out on traders to RM50,000 from RM25,000.
Its minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution told a press conference today that his officers have observed that besides complaints on price hikes, the trend of online cheating has been increasing.
“The highest complaint we received in 2018 was price hike, where it made up 30.8 per cent of the total complaints. Online cheating came in at a close second at 20.8 per cent. When I first took over the ministry, it only made up of six to seven per cent of the total complaints.
“Soon, I think this will overtake the complaints on food price,” said Saifuddin.
To curb this problem, the ministry will hike the maximum penalty amount for the Tribunal as these cases are brought for the Tribunal to solve.
He hopes that with a steeper penalty, online traders will think twice about trying to cheat their customers.
“I have requested that the tribunal increase its maximum penalty from RM25,000 to RM50,000. I haven't made a formal announcement yet but I have asked my officers to study the issue and implement the matter.
“This way, if any online traders have ideas on cheating, at least the trader knows that if it reaches the Tribunal, he or she will have to cough up to RM50,000 in penalty,” said Saifuddin.
On a similar matter, he also said that the third highest complaint he received last year was from misleading advertisements which made up 16 per cent of the total reports lodged.