When we think about fake goods, our minds usually go to things like fake sneakers, luxury bags, DVDs, or toys from the pasar malam
But nowadays, it’s not only expensive brands that are being counterfeited. Even day-to-day products like toothpaste, cosmetics, and cigarettes are being illegally replicated, and the people who suffer are those who buy these products—knowingly or unknowingly.
1. “The concert organisers wouldn’t let us in”
“I’m a hugeeeee Big Bang fan and was super excited for their concert in Malaysia a few years back. The official tickets sold out really fast, but my friends and I managed to find a reseller who sold us tickets at over RM700 each.
At the time we thought it was expensive but worth it! Little did we know that the tickets would turn out to be fake. We only found out on the concert day itself when the organisers wouldn’t let us in. It was heartbreaking! T.T” - Amalina, 18
2. “I smelled smoke… and there went my MacBook charger”
“I bought a cheap extension cord from a gadget store to use it in the office. It worked alright for a couple of months, but one day while I was doing my work I suddenly smelled smoke. When I looked towards the extension cord, fumes were coming out!
After panicking inside for a few seconds, I immediately plugged out my laptop and turned off the main switch. Needless to say, there went my cord and MacBook charger. But thankfully I was around and nothing worse happened.” - Collin, 28
3. “I fell into a manhole thanks to my fake sneakers”
“One day, I was walking back home from work in my fake Adidas sneakers. I hadn’t eaten all day, so I bought myself a fried chicken drumstick to eat on the way home. Halfway walking, the sole of my shoe ripped apart (I guess glue wasn't strong), I tripped and fell into a manhole!
I got myself out of the hole only to find my pants ripped and my thigh bleeding. I limped home the rest of the way, and the only consolation was that I somehow managed to save my fried chicken.” - Suresh, 23
4. “I had to hire a contractor to change the entire electrical system”
“A few months after moving into our new place, I was having troubles with the electrical system. My multiple DIY adjustments did not solve the problem, so I hired a contractor to come find out what was the problem.
After inspection, he told me that the previous owner had been a victim of fake counterfeit circuit breakers, and it was actually a fire hazard. I had no choice but to rework the entire electrical system, which cost me over a thousand ringgit.” - Farhan, 29
5. "I got bronchitis and couldn't swallow food for two weeks"
"I remember trying out fake cigarettes with my boyfriend at that time during college. It tasted terrible, and I felt like I was consuming toxic chemicals without a proper filter.
The worse thing was that I ended up having bronchitis and a terrible sore throat for two weeks. I couldn't even eat anything and had to go on a liquid diet; it was horrible. I really can't imagine how people smoke such bad cigarettes on a daily basis." - Pamela, 22
As Malaysians, it may be easy to fall into the trap of consuming fake goods
However, if you pause and truly consider the consequences of supporting this illegal trade industry, you'll find that you aren’t doing anyone favours. Instead, you could be putting yourself at risk when you use fake goods. Worse still, supporting these items could result in you inadvertently supporting the criminals behind this trade.
Did you know that selling fake products is one of the main ways crime cartels fund their other illegal activities?
In fact, it's estimated that the sale of fake products in Malaysia made RM8 billion last year alone, with RM5 billion being lost to illegal cigarette trade. That's billions of ringgit going towards illegal activities that could include drug production, bribery, and even murder. If Malaysians continue to have a tidak apa mentality when it comes to consuming fake goods, it may come back to bite us in the future.
Earlier this week, there have been reports of several people dying due to the consumption of fake alcohol
This goes to show that while counterfeit items may be cheaper in price, they are usually lower in quality and may even contain harmful substances. Ultimately, since there is a lack of regulation when it comes to fake goods, it's always better to have a "better safe than sorry" attitude.
It’s time for us to take a stand against counterfeit products. Do your part today by signing the #JANJILEGIT pledge to reject illegal products!
The #JANJILEGIT movement aims to spread awareness amongst Malaysians on the negative consequences of buying fake goods on ourselves, our family, and our country. Don’t wait to have a bad experience with a fake item. Choose to buy original goods from authorised dealers so that you support the true creators, get the best products, and enjoy peace of mind.
Click here to find out more about how you can make a difference today.