KUALA LUMPUR: The Consumer Protection (Amendment) Bill 2019 aimed at increasing the penalty on any party which fails to abide by an award made by the Consumer Claims Tribunal, was passed unanimously by Parliament today.
During the wrap-up of the debate on the bill, Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Deputy Minister, Chong Chieng Jen said the amendments to the Consumer Protection Act 1999 (Act 599) would indirectly compel businesses to treat consumers more fairly.
He said any business which failed to comply with an award 14 days after it was made by the tribunal, would be liable to a fine not exceeding RM10,000 or a jail term of up to two years, or both.
He added that businesses which refused to pay the award as decided by the tribunal could face an additional penalty of not less than RM100 and not exceeding RM5,000 per day.
Established on Nov 1, 1999, the tribunal serves as an alternative avenue for consumers to make their claims and reach settlements more easily compared to conventional legal action.
Earlier, when tabling the bill for the second reading, Chong said the bill was also aimed at raising the tribunal’s authority over the threshold value of the award from RM25,000 to the maximum of RM50,000.
The last amendment to the Act was made 16 years ago, raising the value threshold of the award from RM10,000 to RM25,000.
The parliamentary sitting will continue tomorrow. — Bernama