Malaysians buying computers with their Employees Provident Fund (EPF) could be unknowingly infringing software copyrights.
Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry deputy director-genral of enforcement Roslan Mahayuddin said that more than 1,700 computer vendors involved in the initiative to promote PC ownership have admitted to installing the machines with pirated software, without the buyers' knowledge.
"More computer vendors are being investigated and called up by the ministry after we found that many had admitted to installing unlicensed software," Roslan said yesterday.
Under the government-backed program, contributors to the EPF--the Malaysian equivalent of Singapore's CPF retirement savings scheme--can withdraw some of their forced savings before retirement to purchase computers.
Malaysia has been fighting software and entertainment pirates, after having been labelled a "piracy haven".
"We have taken a collective stand to combat piracy aggressively," Roslan told The New Straits Times yesterday. "At the same time, we will continue with our operations and raids to check companies which use pirated software."