Is Malaysia a dumping ground for unregulated electrical goods?

Thirty-four categories of household electrical products are regulated by Suruhanjaya Tenaga and is therefore mandatory that those products carry SIRIM labels. However, from a recent survey conducted by Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP), it was revealed that the regulations have not been enforced adequately.

When a product carries a SIRIM label it means that that product has been tested by a certified laboratory and found to conform to SIRIM Electrical Safety Standards and is safe to use at 240Volts, 50Hertz under local conditions. Even if a product is already certified and conforms to national safety standards of other countries, it is still necessary to conform to our Malaysian Standards before it can be plugged to our mains supply.

 The survey by CAP found that many electrical appliances and accessories in stores have violated the mandatory requirements of SIRIM. Consumers should purchase only SIRIM approved electrical goods to ensure quality, reliability and protection from electric shock, fire and radiation.

The survey covered several outlets in the northern region. It revealed that many domestic electrical appliances and accessories were sold without valid SIRIM certification. There were three categories of non-conformances or violations observed:

  • Products that did not conform to any safety standards, including SIRIM. Electrical accessories, extension power sockets, electric irons, immersion water heaters, decorative and Christmas lighting fell into this category.

 Products that had certification from foreign national safety standards but not from SIRIM. Many audio-video and kitchen appliances were found with this status.

 Products that were assembled with one or two SIRIM approved components such as electrical cable and plugs but the products as a whole had no SIRIM approval which is common among extension power sockets, irons, hair dryers, and bread toasters.

 Malaysian consumers should be extra cautious and not rush when buying electrical goods. They should understand that when they buy products without SIRIM approval, the products may not have the expected quality and reliability. More importantly, such products may not provide the necessary protection against electric shock, fire, and radiation.

CAP urges Suruhanjaya Tenaga to ensure manufacturers and importers use genuine SIRIM labels and that they follow correct procedures in affixing them on products. The Customs Department should ensure that imported goods are declared under the correct categories. Those found evading the regulations should be severely punished.


Press statement, 13 April 2021