KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 13 — Retailers may be fined up to RM500,000 for selling three-ply surgical face masks above RM1 once the price ceiling takes effect Saturday, said Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Alexander Nanta Linggi said.
The fine was derived from the Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act 2011 that also provided for compounds of up to RM250,000 per offence.
Individuals committing the offence could be compounded up to RM50,000 per offence or imprisoned up to three years and given a maximum fine of RM100,000 if convicted, he added.
The minister also warned retailers and individual sellers against attempting to circumvent the ceiling by masking their prices.
“For individuals who fail to display the price of the controlled item, they can be fined up to RM50,000 or compounded up to RM25,000, while companies can be fined up to RM100,000 or compounded up to RM50,000,” he told reporters during a press conference at the Parliament building here today.
According to Alexander, enforcers conducted 47,703 checks on face mask prices up to August 11, resulting in the seizure of 55 boxes of masks valued at RM536,951 and the issuance of RM392,400 in compounds.
The new RM1 ceiling was a reduction from the RM1.20 maximum that was previously announced.
The RM1.20 price was itself already a reduction from the RM2 maximum that was introduced on a March 18 in an attempt to encourage local production and imports amid a shortage then.