The Emblems and Names Act (Amended) 2016 and the Awards Act 2016 which curbs the selling of awards and titles take effect today.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Azalina Othman Said said both acts could curb the abuse of awards and titles conferred by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, the rulers and the Yang di-Pertua Negeri.
“The amendments to the acts show the government’s commitment to preserve the institution of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, rulers and Yang di-Pertua Negeri from being marred by irresponsible parties,” she said in a statement distributed in Parliament today.
Azalina said the government had increased the penalties and included a prison sentence which reflected the seriousness of the offence and as a preventive measure for the people’s protection.
Among others, the Awards Act states that it is an offence for a person to seek, accept or bribe for an unrecognised award which carries a prison sentence of up to 20 years.
Meanwhile, the penalty for an offence under the Emblems and Names Act (Amended) 2016 could be a penalty of up to RM20,000 or a prison sentence up to three years, or both. Previously, the punishment was a RM1,000 fine.
“Hopefully, with the enforcement of this act, cheating cases which affect the public will be curtailed,” she said.
Azalina added that in order to avoid being cheated, members of the public could visit the www.istiadat.gov.my to check the full list of awards accorded at the federal and state levels.
Both acts were passed by the Dewan Rakyat on Nov 23, 2016, and by the Senate on Dec 20 last year.