30/11/2018 12:29 PM

By Muhamad Basir Roslan


KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama) --  Malaysia is known to locals and foreign tourists alike as a shopping heaven, especially for buying branding goods.

Such stores can be found almost anywhere in Malaysia, but be wary. Some of these bussinesses do not have valid business licenses. In addition to that, they are also selling counterfeit products.

This article will discuss why there is a sizeable market for counterfeit goods in Malaysia and ways to overcome the problem.



To get an unbiased view on the issue, this writer interviewed a trader selling counterfeit goods in Jalan Pudu as well as a buyer.

The trader, who wants to be known only as Mujibur Rahman, said the reason many consumers go for fake goods was the disparity in prices.

Counterfeit products differed in price from its original counterparts by a hefty margin.

"A fake Polo t-shirt, for example, can be purchased for only RM40. The original one, sold at boutiques, can cost betwen hundreds and thousands of ringgit, depending on type," said the Bangladeshi native.

In addition to that, there tend to be a high demand for the fake version - usually imported from China - due to its reasonably good quality.

"My shop would usually buy in bulk from GM Plaza Chow Kit. Most of their products are from China and do not differ much in terms of quality from the original.

"I can buy a type of shirt for RM15 a piece and sell it at RM30 for a nice profit. That price is still considered affordable to most consumers," he said.



Izzudin Mohamed,  a consumer, says he buys fake goods because he did not earn enough to buy originals. His priority is to spend on necessities as well as to save for a rainy day.

"Middle-income earners like me do not want to spend a ridiculous amount of money on original items.

“My best option would be to either buy at the bazaar in Uptown or from a used goods store, so that I can spend more on household needs," said the office clerk when met at the bazaar in Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman.

He believes that it would be difficult to do away with the sales of counterfeit goods as not everyone had strong purchasing power. The exception to this was if the government could afford to remedy the situation by raising salaries or reducing the prices of goods in stages.

This writer decided to go down to the bazaars aforementioned to see for himself the kind of counterfeit goods popular among Malaysians.

He found a sizeable crowd looking at clothes - jeans in particular - bags and mobile phone accessories.

For less than RM200, a person could look like he was decked out in designer wear. A fake Polo shirt would cost RM40, a pair of fake Diesel jeans RM35, a pair of counterfeit Nike footwear RM60 - and he would pay for these by taking out money from his fake Levi's wallet (RM20).



Harian Metro reported on a recent raid by the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry (KDPNHEP) at seven premises selling fake goods at the market in Jalan Pudu.

The State Enforcement Officer Low Swee Hon said the officers confiscated fake jerseys, caps, sunglasses and mobile phone accessories.

Despite knowing that the selling of counterfeit goods were illegal, many traders were willing to take the risk, she said.

Low said that raids alone could not curb the widespread sale of counterfeit goods.

Consumers should be learn to respect the registered and owned products that were the intelectual property of others, she said.

"We conduct raids on hot spots almost every week.  KPDNHEP and the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) have gone on 104 raids between January and October this year and confiscated RM2.7 million worth of goods, but there seem to be no end in sight," she told Bernama when contacted recently.

She said although the compound  served to offenders found guilty of selling fake goods were rather high, it would not be enough to curb the issue if consumers keep on buying them.

"Under Section 8 of the Trade Descriptions Act 2011, for cases of Sdn Bhd,  offender can be fined not more than RM15,000 for every confiscated products (for first offence) and not more than RM30,000 per confiscated product for the second offence.

"This is a very high fine but traders are willing the take the risk for as long as there is demand, so curbing the problem is a collective effort," she said.

She added that KPDNHEP was planning to discuss with DBKL the penalty for traders abusing their valid business license.

The public can report to KPDNHEP businesses selling counterfeit items by calling the hotline 1-800-886-800 or by contacting any other enforcement authority in charge of the issue.


Translated by Sakina Mohamed



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