Fines of up to RM250K await traders for bias against palm oil products, says Johari

KUALA LUMPUR: Stern action will be taken against retailers, distributors and importers dealing in products with labels that discriminate against palm oil products, says Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani.

The Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister said those responsible could be fined up to RM250,000 under the Trade Descriptions (Prohibition of Use of Statement, Expression or Indication) (Oil Palm Product and Palm Oil Goods) Regulations 2022.

He added that enforcement activities would be stepped up to check on such products.

"In fact, we will also inform the Customs Department that this cannot be done (under existing laws).

"We want to show to those outside that we are firm on this," he told a press conference here on Friday (May 3).

A convenience store in Precinct 3, Putrajaya was raided by the Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Ministry at 11.45am on Thursday (May 2) for suspected sale of food products with the words "No Palm Oil" on the packaging.

Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Minister Datuk Armizan Mohd Ali said the raid followed a public complaint received by the ministry.

The raiding team found various flavours of ice cream with the wording, he added.

ALSO READ: Ministry raids convenience store for selling 'no palm oil' ice cream

"The ice cream worth a total of RM897.60 was confiscated for further investigation," he said.

According to Armizan, the regulations came into force on March 15, 2022.

Asked if supermarkets could sell those products, Johari said they may do so as long as they remove or cover the wording.

"Some of them put a sticker over the words.

"They might still have some stocks, but in the future, we do not want (this to continue).

"I want retailers, distributors and importers to understand our stance, that's all," he said.

He also welcomed enforcement activities by the Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Ministry, and took a serious view of the matter.

"Palm oil is an important commodity for us and we are the second largest producer in the world.

"And now we have effective enforcement to ensure that there is no discrimination against palm oil products," he said.

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