29 August 2019
On 23 July 2019, the Dewan Negara (the Upper House of Malaysia’s Parliament) passed the Consumer Protection (Amendment) Bill 2019 (“Bill”). The Bill seeks to increase the monetary jurisdiction of the Consumer Claims Tribunal (“Tribunal”) and the penalty imposed on any party who fails to comply with an award made by the Tribunal. The Bill was passed by the Dewan Rakyat (the Lower House of Parliament) on 8 July 2019 and has not come into force.
The key changes introduced by the Bill are as follows.
Extension of Tribunal jurisdiction
The Bill seeks to amend section 98(1) of the Consumer Protection Act 1999 (“Act”) to increase the monetary jurisdiction of the Tribunal to consumer claims where the total amount of the award sought does not exceed MYR50,000. This is an increase from the current amount of MYR25,000 and applies to a cause of action irrespective of whether it accrued before or after the coming into operation of the Bill.
Increase in penalty
The Bill provides for an increase in the fine which may be imposed on any person who fails to comply with an award made by the Tribunal. The amendment to section 117 of the Act seeks to raise the penalty from MYR5,000 to MYR10,000 for a failure to comply with a Tribunal award within 14 days. The Act currently stipulates the imposition of a fine not exceeding MYR5,000. There is no change to the maximum imprisonment term of two years under section 117 of the Act. The Bill also seeks to raise the penalty for each day or part of a day during which the offence continues after conviction, to a fine of not less than MYR100 and not more than MYR5,000.