Malaysian Regulation and Consumer Protection of eCommerce and Online Business

Updated on May 15, 2018
greatstuff profile image

Born and raised in Malaysia, Mazlan is proud of his Malaysian and Asian heritage and likes to share its mysteries, culture & current issues.

Consumer Protection (Electronic Trade Transactions) Regulations 2012

Although online shopping in the USA and other developed countries is a common practice, to Malaysians it can be very challenging. The frequent stories of online shopping scams deterred many from trying to shop online.

Some of these online shopping scams involved international syndicates that operate their business using local companies' names. This affected the reputation and credibility of genuine Malaysian companies that tried very hard to break into the online market.

2012 Regulations
2012 Regulations | Source

Malaysia’s central bank, Bank Negara Malaysia, reported a drop of nearly 50% in reported online scams, from 1,321 cases last year to 714 cases in the first quarter of 2013.

The drop in reported scams did not stop the Ministry of Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism from implementing new acts to minimize online fraudsters.

Based on reports from the Ministry, the online business volume will increase to RM5 billion or US$1.61 billion in 2014. It is, therefore, crucial to put in place measures to protect the consumers.

Hence, the introduction of the Consumer Protection (Electronic Trade Transactions) Regulations 2012.

Changes to the Consumer Protection Act

Although 1995 was considered the start of Internet age for Malaysia, Malaysians started to build momentum on online shopping only in 1998.

More Malaysian business portals were developed and setting up online business became popular. To protect online shoppers, the Ministry amended the Consumer Protection Act in 2007, to include electronic trading.

However, the act did not impose strict rules and regulations on operators of online businesses. This resulted in some unscrupulous operators taking advantage of the situation and tricking some consumers who shopped online.

This 2012 amendment to the Regulation imposes certain requirements on online business operators in order to provide better protection to online consumers.

Who Is Affected by this New Act?

This new act will affect you if:

  • You operate a website that sells or provide services online either through your own online store or blog.
  • You sell or provide services through an online marketplace such as eBay,, Groupon, Mudah, Lelong, Zalora, Lazada, etc.

You can read the full text of this regulation for both the Bahasa Malaysia and English version. Scroll down after the BM version to read the English version.

I have summarized the requirements, which are as follows:

What You Need to Do as an eCommerce Operator

To comply with the 2012 Regulations, all online business operators are to do the following three items:

1. Provide Full Disclosure of Information

To provide the following information on your website or online marketplace:

  • Your name or name of the company or name of the business that operates the online business
  • Company or business registration number, if applicable
  • Contact address (email, telephone and address of the person or company)
  • Description of the goods or services provided
  • The full price of the goods or services. This must include shipping cost, tax and other cost that you intend to charge the buyer.
  • Method of payment
  • Your terms and conditions for the sale
  • The estimated time of delivery for goods purchased, which must include estimated time for all shipping options that you have offered, if any.

2. Rectify Errors & Provide Receipt

The online business operators must:

  • Allow the buyer to rectify any errors prior to confirmation of any purchase
  • Issue an acknowledgment and receipt for the sale transaction, without any undue delay

3. Maintenance of Record

If you are an online marketplace operator that sells third party goods or services, then you must take steps to keep and maintain the following information of your third party suppliers, for at least two years:

  • Name of supplier
  • Telephone number of supplier
  • Address of the supplier

Avenues for Aggrieved Online Shoppers

If someone had an unsatisfactory online shopping experience, he or she can do the following:

  • Call the Ministry of Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism at 1800886800 or file the complaint at their complaint website
  • Call the Royal Malaysia Police department for Commercial Crime Investigation at 603-20319999 or 603-22663333 or visit their website
  • Call Cyber999 Help Center at 1300882999 or file a complaint directly at their website. However, this help center is dedicated to issues relating to computer security incidents

You can also refer to this article on "Commercial Fraud in Malaysia - What to do."

Failure to Comply With the Consumer Protection (Electronic Trade Transactions) Regulations 2012

If you, as an online business operator, fail to comply with the above 2012 Regulations, then you are deemed to have committed an offence. If you provide false or misleading information, you also commit an offence.

The Punishment and penalty that will be imposed are:

  • Fine of up to RM50,000 (US$15,600) or imprisonment up to three years or both
  • If you commit the offence again, you will be fined up to RM100,000 (US$31,250) or imprisonment up to five years or both.

If a company commits this offence, then the penalties are higher and are as follows:

  • Fine of up to RM100,000 (US$31,250)
  • For subsequent offence, the company will be a fine of up to RM200,000 (US$62,500)

If after the conviction, you continue to commit the offence, then in addition to the above penalties, you or the company will be fined an additional RM1,000 (US$312) for each day for which the offence continues.

The aggrieved consumer can also file a claim with the Tribunal for Consumer Complaints. If this civil remedy is successful, then you or the company will pay another penalty as imposed by this Tribunal.

Asian Countries' Tendency to Do Online Shopping

Based on the study conducted by MasterCard between November and December 2012, China leads the Asian region as the country with the highest tendency to conduct online shopping, with 102 Index Points. The results for other Asian countries are as follows:

Hong Kong

From the above table, Malaysians are still hesitant to do shopping online, but with better consumer protections, they might change their mind.

Hence, for a Malaysian online business operator, this will mean more business opportunities for you.

Are These 2012 Regulations Fair to eCommerce Operators?

Are you serious about doing business online?

Do you want more shoppers to visit and buy products from your website?

Are you willing to be transparent in your business transaction in order to gain trust from your website visitors?

Do you want them to come back and buy more from you?

Do you want them to recommend your website or your online business marketplace to their family members, friends, and strangers?

If you answer yes to all the above, this 2012 Regulations is fair to both you as the online business operator and to online shoppers.

Boost Online Shopping Confidence

The requirements are not stringent and do not impose unnecessary burdens on you. It will create transparency and hence, trust to potential online shoppers if you provide all the information.

The 2012 Regulations also require you to give a full give description of goods and services that you are providing. These include price, method of payment, return of goods policy and other terms and conditions, and method and time of delivery. These will result in an increase dconfidence when buyers do online shopping at your website.

In case of dispute, loss or fraud suffered by online shoppers, they can also easily track down the business operators and file a complaint against them.

All these will boost consumers’ confidence when they shop online.

More Will Shop Online

Currently many consumers are still hesitant to shop online. With this 2012 Regulation in place, they may change their mind and this is good news to all online business operators.

So if you are an Online Marketplace Operator or Business Supplier, take steps now to comply with this new regulation.

It is a win-win situation to both the business operators and consumers.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

Questions & Answers

  • Where do you find the consequences for the failure to comply with the Malaysian E-Commerce and Online Business Regulations? I don't see that under the Regulations themselves.

    The current focus now is to register the businesses and regulations governing e-commerce that will eventually be introduced to protect both the consumer and business owners. Failure to register the business is covered in the Registration of Businesses Act of 1957.

  • What are the things that cannot be sold online in Malaysia?

    Anything that is illegal and banned in the country.

© 2013 Mazlan


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • greatstuff profile imageAUTHOR


      4 months ago from Malaysia

      Bella, I believe this falls under the Road Transport dept (JPJ)

    • profile image

      Bella Nasir 

      5 months ago

      Hello sir, may i know do this Act is applicable to e-hailing services? As the services are conducted through electronic devices. Do consumers are protected under this Act? Thank you sir.

    • greatstuff profile imageAUTHOR


      15 months ago from Malaysia

      Eric, in your email, you wrote:

      Hi Mazlan,

      Read your article about the e-commerce act.

      Is there an act or agency that can protect Seller in the marketplace operator to raise a dispute to as I know KPDNKK is more to a consumer.

      My RESPONSE:

      Hi Eric

      As far as I know, currently sellers can only rely on the courts for any disputes.

      Consumer Protection Act, as you have rightly said, is more biased to the buyers.

      Unlike in the UK that has the Unfair Contract Terms Act, there is no specific act that looks into the rights of the seller/retailer in Malaysia. Singapore has adopted a variation of the UK's Unfair Contract Terms Act into their own legislation.

      I suppose Malaysia will soon follow as the big boys and corporate bodies are now jumping in, into this huge online marketplace.

      Hope this helps


    • profile image


      15 months ago

      Thank you, Mr. Mazlan. I'm looking forward for a refund from them.

    • greatstuff profile imageAUTHOR


      15 months ago from Malaysia

      jabols23, go to the National Consumer Complaints Centre (NCCC) at either by calling them at 0378769000, or by email to, or do an online complaint submission via the e-form available on NCCC's website.

    • profile image


      15 months ago

      Hello, Mr. Mazlan,

      How and where to file a complaint about an online business store which still continues to sell online? They posted the pictures of original items, then after receiving the item, it turned out to be fake.

    • greatstuff profile imageAUTHOR


      2 years ago from Malaysia

      wind, The license and procedures are the same as registering a sole proprietorship or partnership.

      This is the link to the article on SSM website that helps to explain this further:

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      What license that i should register to startup the new eCommerce marketplace like lazada? I need post the information that stated above as online sellers via online marketplace?

    • greatstuff profile imageAUTHOR


      2 years ago from Malaysia

      Elham, you can lodge your case with National Consumer Complaints Centre at

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Interesting piece, can I ask you if Malaysian Online Shopping websites are governed ? One site reported me as a fraud blocked my account claiming I used multiple names and accounts under my name and I used vouchers, all false information and hence their business intelligence listed me as a scam, I made multiple orders which were all cancelled and they take me as fraud, I am unhappy with their customer support services and I don;t know if I am getting my money back, any suggestion how I can file a complaint and what is the procedure? even though I am not a resident in Malaysia?

    • greatstuff profile imageAUTHOR


      3 years ago from Malaysia

      Hi adman. I don't have detail of your transaction, but if your payment is made via Paypal, you can file in your report with Paypal and hopefully you might get your money back. You can also file directly with the website that you bought the item, such as eBay,, Q0010 etc. If you bought directly from their blog-site, you can report to Google and if there's enough evidence, they can shut down the website. However, reporting this online scam won't get you your money back. You can also lodge your problem with Malaysian Communications And Multimedia Commission's Consumer Complaints Bureau , but as I had mentioned before, you will not get your money back, but might help others from being scammed by this unscrupulous seller. here's the link to MCMC, if you need more info:

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      May I know where and how to report if i got cheated by online seller?


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)