Subscribe to our Telegram channel for the latest stories and updates.
All non-medical face masks must have the SIRIM certification, or else manufacturers and importers will face a fine.
According to Bernama, the Domestic Trade And Consumer Affairs Ministry (KPDNHEP) announced that all non-medical face masks either manufactured in Malaysia or imported from overseas must require the SIRIM sticker under the new gazetting of the Non-Medical Face Mask Order 2022 under the Trade Descriptions Act 2011, which will take effect 4 July.
The MS SIRIM label must be placed on boxes or packages and be easily visible to consumers.
KPDNHEP in a statement
Products bearing the SIRIM certification mark demonstrates product compliance with national or international standards. Thus, it provides the user with an assurance for safety and reliability.
The ministry hopes that compliance from manufacturers and importers on this issue will reduce the influx of poor quality products into the Malaysian market.
Companies who are found guilty of not complying with the SIRIM requirement can face a RM200,000 fine or up to RM500,000 for a subsequent offense.
Individuals who are found guilty can face a fine up to RM100,000 and/or 3 years jailtime, or a fine up to RM250,000 and/or 5 years jailtime or both.
Netizens were not pleased with the news, with many finding it suspicious that this kind of requirement only coming to light after 2 years of an active pandemic.
During the pandemic and cases were more than 20K a day, there was not a need to have a SIRIM certified face mask.
Suddenly, the government ordered this for the safety of the Keluarga Malaysia.
— Alawiyah Yussof 🏴 (@AlawiyahYussof) April 6, 2022
imagine going to jail for not wearing a sirim-approved face mask…
— ✩ (@24lyx) April 6, 2022
— Dayang Surena Abg Basri (@SueBasri) April 6, 2022
Others are worried this requirement would raise mask prices
Currently, while Malaysia is moving towards the endemic phase, SOPs such as face masks are still required for daily use. As such, face masks have become an additional expense to be borne by the rakyat, one which not all of us can afford.
Do government guarantee the price of mask with sirim cert remain the same? Let people choose to buy sirim or non sirim face mask. Not all people got enough money to buy expensive one. Currently we are dealing with expensive essential needs, don’t add the burden.
— Kakak Mongka (@Mongka10) April 7, 2022
I had pts who literally reuse their non-medical cheap face mask sampai berbulu & tali putus because they don’t have money to buy face masks
Sure ok SIRIM chop will ensure the quality of masks, but you’re overestimating the ability of Malaysians to buy quality masks
— maya arielle 🏴 (@FluoroPetrol) April 7, 2022
“What’s the justification?”
Twitter user @FabAshburn questioned the need for such a blanket requirement in the first place, as these face masks are classified as personal protective equipment (PPE) meant for non-medical use.
She goes on to question what kind of requirements these face masks must meet to obtain the certification, especially for PPE that is not of medical-grade.
Under the Medical Devices Act, non-medical face mask and respirator is classified as personal protective equipment (PPE) and CAN BE manufactured and supplied WITHOUT needing to be registered with the Authority.
What level of protection is being used as this SIRIM “standard”? https://t.co/B04Ojtepnu
— FAB (@FabAshburn) April 6, 2022
Although Malaysia and other countries currently also allow the use of cloth masks made of fabric, it is not clear whether cloth masks or similarly fashioned homemade items will be affected.