Monday, January 01, 2007

Pirated VCDs

Genuine VCDs not available at affordable cost

I would like to refer to your report “Tourist belt raid nets fakes and DVDs” (Star Dec.22).
The officers from state Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry enforcement unit, police and Penang Municipal Council should be lauded for their relentless efforts to curb the sale of pirated VCDs and other branded items.

Punitive action against these errand traders is necessary, and the authorities must declare an all out war against them. It must nevertheless be borne in mind that this alone will not eradicate this illegal activity. We are all only too familiar with the scenario where these traders return soon after the raids are over. They seem to least bothered about the raids and appear to be well prepared for them.

Imitation of genuine products is not just confined to VCDs.In fact almost all products are being imitated these days. Popular brand of clothes, shoes,sports wear, electrical appliances,handphones,watches and even food and drinks are being imitated and sold openly in the markets. In fact our popular “pasars malam” are full of such imitation products.
The unsuspecting customer is often cheated, paying original price for imitation products. It is sometimes safer to buy imitation goods at lower prices rather than end up paying more for imitation ones.

A number of parties, including the consumers themselves, are too be blamed for this unhealthy trade to flourish. Most of us will agree the main reason is the unavailability of original VCDs at affordable costs. These together with the very easily available and cheap VCDs are enough to tempt even the most righteous person to purchase such items.

Besides enforcing the laws without fear or favor the authorities must look for and act to overcome the root cause of this menace. Original VCDs must be made available easily throughout the country and at a reasonable price. In this era of communication technology, it is often cheaper and easier to order such original VCDs from oversea agencies than to purchase them locally.

Education is another very important factor in overcoming this menace. Peoples’ attitude must change to accept original and avoid fake products. This should begin early in the homes and schools. People must be taught to value the sacrifices of those who produce original work and not succumb to the “I must win all” policy that is prevalent in society today.

Dr.Chris Anthony

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