KUALA TERENGGANU: The Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP) will refer to the deputy public prosecutor (DPP), to determine the next course of action against a floating restaurant operator in Langkawi who allegedly charged a customer RM1,968.80 for a sea bass, weighing 7.48 kilogrammes, recently.

Its Deputy Minister, Datuk Rosol Wahid, said the ministry had given an extension until Nov 17 to the operator to respond to the notice given, but still failed to obtain complete and detailed documents to enable further investigations to be carried out.

Accordingly, an investigation paper under Section 53 (A) of the Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act (AKHAP) 2011 was opened, on the offence of failing to maintain and keep proper business documents.

"The failure of the owner of the premises to submit the required documents such as operating costs and other costs, resulting in further investigations into the possible existence of an element of profiteering could not be carried out accordingly.

"If the trader is convicted of an offence under Section 53 (A) of the AKHAP 2011, the company can be fined RM100,000 for the first offence and RM250,000 for the second and subsequent offences, under Section 57 (A) of the same law," he said after visiting a rockmelon fertigation farm in Kampung Peradong, today.

Also present was Terengganu Agriculture Department director, Zulkepli Amin Mat Jusoh @ Yusof.

Following the sea bass issue, which went viral, Rosol said that KPDNHEP had launched 'Ops Menu' operations nationwide starting Nov 6, and as of yesterday, a total of 21 cases had had action taken for various offences, with a total compound value of RM6,400.

Of the 21 cases involved, 10 cases involved offences under the AKHAP 2011, while another 11 were for offences under the Weights and Measures Act 1972.

"Officers and personnel involved have inspected 2,800 premises, including restaurants nationwide, starting Nov 6, and will continue until Dec 31.

"The highest number of cases detected was in Sabah with nine cases, followed by Johor (three); Penang (two); Perak (one); Terengganu (one); Kelantan (one); Perlis (one); Pahang (one); Selangor (one) and Sarawak (one)," he said.