RM53.7m subsidised control items seized since 2016

by FARA AISYAH / pic by BERNAMA

THE Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry (KPDNHEP) seized a total value of RM53.69 million in subsidised controlled goods from 2016 to October 2020.

KPDNHEP enforcement director Datuk Iskandar Halim Sulaiman (picture) said the division opened a total of 2,212 cases involving subsidised controlled goods within the period.

Meanwhile, 671 cases were received from the submission of external agencies with a seizure value of RM10.42 million.

“Although the misappropriation of controlled goods at the border is not an easy issue to address, the enforcement division continues to act proactively and decisively in curbing it through enforcement under the Control of Supplies Act 1961.

“Among the measures taken by the enforcement division are continuous operations, cooperations with border enforcement agencies such as the Malaysian Border Control Agency, Marine Police Force, Malaysian Armed Forces, General Operations Force, Malaysian Immigration Department, Royal Malaysian Customs Department and other relevant enforcement agencies through integrated operations and due diligence by conducting audits in each distribution chain of controlled goods,” he said in a statement yesterday.

Iskandar Halim said the misappropriation of subsidised controlled goods at the Malaysian international borders, including Thailand, Indonesia, Brunei and Singapore, is one of the main issues prioritised by KPDNHEP.

He said the lower selling prices of controlled goods in Malaysia and readily available supply are two major factors that contribute to the increasing demand from the population of neighbouring countries.

He added that geographical position particularly the short boundary distance of the two countries, as well as the existence of many secret passages have been contributing to easier smuggling activities of subsidised controlled goods.

Iskandar Halim said demographic factors of population and kinship between Malaysians and citizens of neighbouring countries also complicate and prevent these irregularities from being handled holistically.

“To ensure that the enforcement to curb the misappropriation of these goods has a more comprehensive impact, the revocation of controlled goods licence on wholesalers and retailers engaged in these activities is also implemented by the enforcement division.

“From 2017 to 2019, 14 controlled goods licensing companies’ licences were revoked and this indirectly shows the seriousness of the enforcement division in dealing with such malpractice at the grassroots level to save subsidies borne by the government,” Iskandar Halim said.

As such, he urged traders to be more responsible in running a scheduled and subsidised controlled goods business and to not break the law, particularly involving the sale and distribution of such goods to avoid severe punishments.