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Malaysia to pursue illegal CD makers

The government wants to get to the source of illegal video CDs and plans to go after the VCD copying machines that have made their way into the country unlawfully.

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia--The Malaysian government wants to get to the source of the illegal video CDs cropping up in the country and plans to go after the VCD copying machines that have made their way across the border unlawfully.

Muhyiddin Yassin, the minister of domestic trade and consumer affairs, told reporters Tuesday that the authorities stopped issuing import permits for these machines in March.

"We know where the legal machines are located...What we don't know is where the illegal machines are and what they are being used for," he said after attending a consumer forum here. "If we can identify these illegal machines, then we can stop pirated and porn VCDs hitting the market."

Earlier this month, the government extended the ban to cover politically oriented CDs.

The government had issued permits for 41 VCD making machines, but the minister acknowledged the authorities are in the dark concerning how many unlicensed machines exist.

Muhyiddin lamented that many VCD producing and copying machines were not registered before the March deadline this year.

"There are many which did not register, and this is evident from the influx of illegal VCDs in the market...These VCDs are mainly from unlicensed machines," he said.

Muhyiddin noted that his ministry has directed all state governments to prepare reports on the actions taken to curb illegal VCD proliferation.

"After the reports are in, we will have meetings with the Home Ministry to coordinate and formulate a plan for a nationwide campaign to wipe out illegal VCDs," he said.

Staff writer Sreejit Pillai reported from Kuala Lumpur.