Tuesday, June 03, 2003

Ministry to track down those with porn VCDs

BY SIM LEOI LEOI

PUTRAJAYA: The Home Ministry’s enforcement unit will not hesitate to conduct house-to-house checks if it receives tip-offs about individuals owning pornographic VCDs.
Home Ministry’s Enforcement Unit chief for central zone Mamat Ibrahim said at present, no one had been charged for possessing pornographic VCDs.
“However, under Section 5 of the Film Censorship Act, an individual can be fined between RM10,000 to RM50,000 or face a jail term of five years for possessing pornographic VCDs.
“We are just waiting for any information from the public and we have ways to investigate these claims before applying for a warrant to move into these premises,” he told reporters at his office here yesterday.
Mamat said the authorities would only act against individuals if they had pornographic VCDs and not pirated ones.
“Provisions under this Act do not cover those having pirated VCDs. But the ministry will not accept the excuse that these pornographic VCDs are only for “personal use”.
“The law does not allow that,” he pointed out.
Mamat said individuals coming home from overseas trips would also be searched from now on by customs officials to see if they were carrying pornographic VCDs.
“They will have random checks on people coming into the country and see if their luggage contains such VCDs. This is because we have reports that this is one of the ways these VCDs are smuggled in,” he added.
Mamat said the ministry had also been informed by their sources that many pirated and pornographic VCD peddlers were now on a “break” following the harsh clampdown by authorities.
“From our investigations, we found that in many places where the sale of these VCDs were rampant before, there are now no more such stalls.
“We know that many peddlers are just bidding their time but we will work hard,” he added.
The ministry, added Mamat, had yesterday morning confiscated 251 pieces of Chinese VCDs of various titles from a book exhibition at Wisma MCA, and picked up two men, including a Chinese national, for peddling them.
“The VCDs are neither pornographic nor pirated. But they do not have “B” certificates,” he said, adding that the VCDs had been imported directly from Shanghai via Singapore.