Malaysia online biz to be regulated from July 2013

All businesses and services conducted over the Internet will need to abide by consumer protection regulations, amid cases of electronic fraud rising to a "worrying" level.

Online businesses in Malaysia will be regulated effective July 1 2013 to raise the confidence of consumers, amid an increase in electronic transaction fraud cases. 

The introduction of the regulations are important to further develop electronic transactions in the country, said Ismail Sabri Yaakob, Malaysia's domestic trade, co-operatives and consumerism minister, in a Bernama report Wednesday. He was speaking at a media conference announcing the Consumer Protection Regulations 2012.

Malaysia will introduce regulations for online businesses from July 1 2013.

The minister pointed out 67 percent of Internet consumers were aged between 11 and 49 years, and with such a large volume of transactions --RM 5 billion (US$1.61 billion) by 2014, measures would be needed to protect the interest of consumers. 

He added electronic transaction fraud cases were rising to a "worrying" level as the sector was not regulated, noted Bernama.

The number of online fraud cases reported in 2011 rose to 1,879 compared with 511 in 2009, according to police statistics cited in the article.

Some of the regulations include requiring Web entities to display full details of the company, as well as the full cost of items or service such as transportation and taxes.

If convicted, traders are subject to a fine not more than RM50,000 or not more than three years' jail, or both.