KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 22 — Consumers will get greater protection against misleading or false advertisements in print and electronic media with the enforcement of the recent amendment to the Consumer Protection Act 1999 effective January 1 next year.

Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaacob said individuals found to have put out misleading or false ads in terms of quantity, quality, price, effectiveness and availability of products would be fined up to RM5,000 or jailed up to three years, if found guilty.

He said an organisation would be fined up to RM100,000 for the first offence and up to RM200,000 for a second and subsequent offence, if found guilty.

Speaking to reporters after launching a guideline against false and misleading ads here today, he said the handbook was prepared by a committee following an amendment the Consumer Protection Act 1999 approved in Parliament, recently.

He said the committee, which was assisted by the Health Ministry, the Home Ministry, Works Ministry, and academicians, was chaired by Yayasan Sumber Maklumat chief executive officer Dr Zuraidi Ishak.

“We have received 38 complaints on misleading and false ads. Those related to health products will be forwarded to the Health Ministry for further action. As for us, we are cracking down on misleading ads or services which were intended to deceive consumers,” said Ismail Sabri.

He said the handbook, which was distributed to the public today, would regulate advertisers comprising manufacturers, service providers, ad agencies who disseminated ads through print, broadcast or electronic media.

He said among claims prohibited were healing of chronic diseases and unethical use of halal logo. — Bernama

Source: “The Malaysian Insider.” The Malaysian Insider., 22 Oct. 2012. Web.