Thursday, January 22, 2009

Fined Only RM1,300 For Selling Poisonous Herbal Products

A local English daily reported that a former national sportsman was fined only RM1,300 by the Magistrate’s Court in Kuala Lumpur after he pleaded guilty to marketing 2 herbal products containing poison.

The products apparently contained “sildenafil” which was listed as poison under the Poisons Act 1952. He was charged under Section 13(a) of the Act and liable to a fine of up to RM3,000 or imprisonment not exceeding two years.

The Magistrate ordered the offender to pay RM800, in default 4 months’ jail, with regard to one product and RM500, in default 2 months’ jail, for the other.

In light of this case, shouldn't the Poisons Act 1952 be amended to reflect the severity of the offense ? Fining an offender selling poison less than RM1,000 for each offense is hardly a deterrent.

Whilst in 1952, when the Poisons Act was first enacted, the penalty would be sufficient, but not today. Shouldn't the fine be revised corresponding to the rate of inflation for the past 50 years ?

No wonder one can even find some pasar malam traders and "MLM entrepreneurs" selling all kinds of unauthorised "herbal remedies" from China, India, Indonesia and Thailand in recent years.

Please post your comments.


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