Incensed over lewd pictures on package

Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) president SM Mohd Idris said one of the packets had a nude woman with the words, Kamasutra, while another had a picture of a couple kissing. “What may not be sensitive to some people can be very offensive and vulgar to others. We received several complaints about the offensive pictures on this particular brand of incense sticks,” he says.

Mohd Idris said the product’s packaging only indicated that it was made in Thailand, and there was no indication of the distributor’s name or address.

The Malaysian Home Ministry’s northern region enforcement officer Zainal Abidin Othman said action could be taken against those who produce, distribute, sell or possess any form of undesirable publication. Retailers who are unsure if the packaging of the particular brand of incense sticks are deemed as undesirable material, should immediately stop selling the products and surrender them to us for verification. The Home Minister could then issue a gazette for the product’s label to be banned,” he said.

Zainal Abidin noted that once the label was gazetted as a banned item, those in possession of it could be fined not exceeding RM5,000 under Section 8 (1) of the Printing Presses & Publications Act 1984. Those found printing, importing, producing, reproducing, selling, circulating or distributing the label, could be fined under Section 8 (2) of the same Act, which carries a jail term of up to three years or a fine not exceeding RM20,000 or both. Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry enforcement unit chief Fahmi Kasim said the offender could be fined up to RM15,000, or jailed up to two years, or both for labelling offences under the Price Control Act. He says, “We could also take action against the supplier and retailer if the product’s manufacturing origin was falsified in the label, under the Trade Description Act 1972.”

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