Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Muhyiddin Yassin told reporters Tuesday that the authorities have stopped issuing import permits for these machines in March.
"We know where the legal machines are located...what we don't know is where the illegal machines are and what they are being used for. If we can identify these illegal machines, then we can stop pirated and porn VCDs hitting the market," he said after attending a consumers forum in the city.
The government had issued permits for 41 VCD making machines but the minister admitted the authorities are in the dark concerning how many unlicensed machines are out there.
Muhyiddin urged the public to come forward with relevant information to help the authorities track down and confiscate the illegal VCD making equipment.
He lamented that many VCD producing and copying machines were not registered before the March deadline this year.
"There are many which did not register and this is evident from the influx of illegal VCDs in the market...these VCDs are mainly from unlicensed machines," he said.
Muhyiddin noted that his ministy has directed all state governments to prepare reports on the actions taken to curb illegal VCD proliferation. "After the reports are in, we will have meetings with the Home Ministry to coordinate and formulate a plan for a nationwide campaign to wipe out illegal VCDs," he explained.
When asked whether the ministry had set a deadline for the implementation of a nationwide ban on illegal VCDs, he said: "There is no deadline for something which is already illegal...selling porn VCDs is illegal, selling pirated VCDs is illegal, so, when all these are illegal why do we need a deadline, it is just a matter of enforcement," he stressed.