Instead of ushering a festival in a celebrative environment, it is a yearly event for people to end up in hospital. They suffer severe injuries if they are lucky, otherwise they ended up dead. It is needless but apparently the relevant authorities are not keen in arresting this perennial problem.
This year is a mere repetition of previous years. There were already reported casualties and news of fire crackers and fireworks being blatantly sold at prices ranging from RM2 to RM65 per box at Pasar Ramadhan nationwide.
How can these explosive items be sold openly and it was reported that they can also be ordered via Whatsapp and Facebook? Wholesalers in Klang Valley appoint agents who earn up to 20% from the sale with the aid of a catalogue.
Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) has been repeating its call for the enforcement of the ban for more than 30 years and again it has fallen on deaf ears. It is not that we have no laws pertaining to the ban of fire crackers and fireworks; they are banned under the Explosives Act 1957.
Under Section 8 of the Explosive Act 1957 a person may have to serve a maximum seven-year jail sentence, a RM10,000 fine, or both, if convicted of violating the Act.
We understand that in 2015 and 2016, the PDRM waived the ban by issuing permits to a local company to import fireworks/fire crackers. It is puzzling why permits were issued by the PDRM rather than the Home Ministry as required by Section 26 of the Act:
“Regulations 26. The Minister (CAP’s emphasis) may make regulations –
to regulate or prohibit, except under or in accordance with the provisions or conditions of a licence granted under this Act, the manufacture, possession, use, sale, storage, transport, import or export of explosives or of any specified class thereof.”
CAP is amazed how a company was legally issued permits to import and sell firecrackers when a ban has been in place for decades.
As for the illegal fire crackers and fireworks, how did they come into the country in such a large quantity? How did those selling them escape persecution?
Lip service alone is not enough to arrest this problem. JUST enforce the laws!
Press Statement, 21st June 2017