Domestic Trade Ministry monitoring sale of Israeli dates here, says Armizan

KUALA LUMPUR: The Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Ministry will continue to monitor the sale of dates suspected to originate from Israel (Israeli dates), which are allegedly available in the market, including those sold online.

Its Minister Datuk Armizan Mohd Ali said that the ministry will continue monitoring through various laws, especially the Trade Description Act 2011, to prevent the dates from being offered to consumers.

“We have immediately included in the standard operating procedure (SOP) and terms of reference of the ‘Op Pantau’ which we have launched especially for Ramadan and Aidilfitri, to look in detail related to the alleged sale of (Israeli) dates.

“We hope for cooperation from the whole community, and public complaints on the ministry’s official platforms,” he said during Ministers’ Question Time in the Dewan Rakyat Thursday (March 14).

He said this in his reply to a supplementary question from Datuk Rosol Wahid (PN-Hulu Terengganu), who wanted to know the government’s actions regarding the sale of Israeli dates online, and whether the government needed to amend the existing laws to ensure that Israeli products cannot easily enter the country.

Armizan said the ministry views the issue seriously and will take stern action against any irresponsible parties who try to mislead consumers.

“Under Section 5 of the Trade Description Act 2011, any party found guilty can be subject to penalties such as fines of up to RM100,000 or imprisonment not exceeding three years or both, while companies can be fined up to RM250,000,” he said.

On Wednesday (March 13), the Royal Malaysian Customs Department, at a press conference, announced that it had seized 73 packets of dates suspected to originate from Israel in a raid at a food storage warehouse in Klang, Selangor on March 12.

Meanwhile, regarding the “Op Pantau 2024” in conjunction with this year’s Ramadan and Aidilfitri, Armizan said that within two days (March 12-13), the ministry had inspected 3,099 premises with 11 cases recorded including six cases of profiteering.

“The ministry has issued a notice for the traders to respond and give feedback on the price offered.

“The ministry also expects that the complaints are more specific so that we can inspect the location specified in the complaint, instead of just prices that went viral.

“Firstly, if there are matters of concern, inform us on the official portal so that we can conduct a specific investigation.

“Secondly, we hope consumers exercise their right to choose products at reasonable prices,” he said.

Armizan was replying to a supplementary question from Aminolhuda Hassan (PH-Sri Gading) who raised the issue of food prices at the Ramadan bazaars which had gone viral on social media, besides wanting to know the developments related to “Op Pantau 2024”. – Bernama

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