PUTRAJAYA: The cabinet has agreed to legalise fireworks and firecrackers in the country in a move to put a halt to the smuggling of these items.
Local Government Development Minister Nga Kor Ming said wholesalers and importers who had been bringing in fireworks and firecrackers illegally would now be subjected to licence application, import duties as well as guidelines and regulations.
He said suppliers would need to apply via the Home Ministry, which would be in charge of importing and licencing issues.
Malaysia was expected to gain from the duties of these items, he said.
Nga said the cabinet on Thursday reached an agreement to regulate fireworks and firecrackers.
He said the new policy was expected to come into effect by Hari Raya Aidilfitri in April.
“We want to control it at source. Consumers will not have to pay to use firecrackers and fireworks.
“We now leave it to the Home Ministry to issue the guidelines and regulations on how to apply for the licence and for the Finance Ministry to set the percentage of duties that has to be paid for the fireworks and firecrackers,” he said at the Jalinan Muhibah event to mark the Chinese New Year celebration organised by the ministry here today.
Nga said syndicates had been gaining profits from the smuggling of these items into the country.
“The ones who racked in money from the sales of fireworks and firecrackers are underground syndicates. Smugglers bring them in and there are no safety standards, and we see accidents.
“As the cabinet has agreed to legalise fireworks and firecrackers, I expect the government’s revenue to increase as hundreds of millions of ringgit can be obtained from duties from licence holders.
“There will also be regulatory control and law enforcement,”
Present were Deputy Prime Ministers Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof.
Earlier at the event, Nga, Zahid and Fadillah took part in the tossing of the “yee sang” as a symbol of good luck and prosperity.