KUALA LUMPUR: The deadline of the second phase of the nationwide crackdown to wipe out pirated and pornographic CD, VCD and DVD traders has been extended to Aug 31, Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said yesterday.
He said the decision was made because there was still a large number of premises involved in the illegal trade after the first phase of the crackdown ended on Sunday.
Muhyiddin, who chaired a third enforcement meeting with relevant agencies at his ministry, said the Government still needed to monitor over 1,800 licensed premises and 150 open premises to ensure that operators were not involved in the piracy scam.
“It will be a prolonged war until we are satisfied that there are no more such traders. They are now hibernating until we stop,” he said.
He said the police and the ministry’s enforcement officers had seized only 5.5mil pirated and pornographic CDs and VCDs worth RM25.5mil during numerous raids since January.
“This is only a small percentage of the pirated copies that the local factories can produce,” he said adding that the 41 licensed manufacturers had the capacity to produce 500 million optical discs as opposed to the demand of 70mil.
Muhyiddin said the Government would formulate a guideline on the issuing of operating licences for the sale of CD, VCD and DVD by the local councils and National Film Development Board (Finas).
“We have asked the local councils to review the number of licences issued in every locality and tighten its regulations.
“In other countries such as Singapore, there are only a few CD, VCD and DVD outlets operating in an area but in Malaysia, every nook and corner has such outlets - that is why piracy is rampant,” he said.
He said the ministry had also asked the Customs Department to make a distinction between the tariff code for shipping in optical discs and plastic injection moulding machines. The latter are specially designed machines used for moulding plastic components for, among others, computers, office or home furniture.
“As there is now only one tariff code for the shipping in of both machines, this will be a subject of false declaration and abuse by traders,” he said adding that traders who shipped in optical disc machines could declare the import of optical disc machines as plastic injection moulding machines, which did not require import permits.
“At the illegal factories we have raided, we found original optical disc machines that have been imported probably by means of false declaration.”
He said the ministry had asked the Customs, Pos Malaysia Bhd and courier companies to be wary of being exploited as a channel to distribute pirated and pornographic CDs, VCDs and DVDs overseas.
“Since January until now, 1.5mil pirated CDs, VCDs and DVDs worth RM6mil that were mailed through Pos Laju had been seized at KL International Airport (KLIA).
“This is proof that the piracy scam has international links,” he added.