Discriminating, boycotting palm oil is now an arrestable offence

DISCRIMINATING or boycotting palm oil is now an arrestable offence following amendments to the law passed by the Dewan Rakyat, says Datuk Rosol Wahid.

The Deputy Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister noted that statements or expressions against Malaysia’s major commodities – especially palm oil – such as the expression “no palm oil” used in any advertisement including food labels, notices and catalogues will be prohibited.

This follows the scope expansion of Act 730 (Trade Descriptions Act 2011), he said, when tabling the amendment in Dewan Rakyat.

He said the amendments were targeted at those promoting an anti- palm oil message in their product description.

Amendments were made to Section 5 on prohibition of false trade description which made it an arrestable offence.

Individuals convicted under the section can face a maximum fine of RM100,000 or a maximum of three years jail.

Meanwhile, false or misleading statements in relation to contest or games was also an arrestable offence under Section 20.

This applies when there are no prizes or services offered through the contest or game or there are costs for claiming the alleged prize.

Those convicted under this provision can face a maximum fine of RM250,000, three years jail or both.

On a separate matter, Rosol informed the House the case involving the meat cartel was still ongoing and would come up for hearing between January and March next year.On May 24 this year, four Malaysian Quarantine and Inspection Services Department (Maqis) assistant enforcement officers and a logistics company owner were charged at the Sessions Court for allegedly being involved in a meat cartel between 2016 and December last year.

On a separate matter, Rosol said a total of 9,650 non-Bumiputra companies had applied for halal logo certification since 2020.

This, he noted, was far more than the 3,822 applications submitted by Bumiputra companies.

He said this showed that local businesses were aware of the importance of obtaining the certification.

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