SHAH ALAM - The Home Ministry's Al-Quran Text and Publishing Control Division has seized over RM14,000 (S$5,235) worth of obscene material from a popular shopping mall in Petaling Jaya.
"That sum does not include GST, of course," said enforcement unit chief Mohamad Hashim Kamaruddin, who led the 11.30am raid on the three premises within the mall.
He was assisted by nine officers from the Damansara police headquarters in the Tuesday operation.
The raid aimed to cripple the distribution and sale of obscene material that can damage and negatively influence the rakyat.
Sales of such items are prohibited under the Printing Presses and Publications Act (1984).
Seized merchandise included 150 items from one Japanese pop culture shop, which included mouse pads, books, shirts with suggestive logos, and scantily-clad dolls to suit a variety of fetishes.
Also seized were 80 units of weed-themed paraphernalia, including necklaces, stockings, bags and caps.
All three shop owners will be questioned to help in the investigation.
Under the Act, anyone convicted of the offence of distributing prohibited items could be fined no more than RM20,000 (S$7,465), or jailed three years or less, or both.
The owners had received prior warning for sale of similar items.
"This is not the first time we have conducted this operation. They gave full cooperation," said Mohamad Hashim.
Asked why the owners persisted in selling banned items, he said it is a classic case of supply meeting demand.
"Gen Y especially loves these kinds of t-shirts," he said, adding that the figurines are from Japan as the country is 'famous for these kind of things'.
"Even drug offenders relapse though there is a death penalty, what more the sale of these items?
"The products are quite affordable - RM35 (S$13) per shirt, a mouse pad for RM34.90. The dolls, however, are more than RM100," he added.
Mohamad Hashim urged the public to report any sighting of banned obscene merchandise, whether the items are for sale in a shopping mall or at the pasar malam (night market).
Residents in other states can contact the Home Ministry offices, while those based in Selangor can contact the division at 0355190349.