The Federation of Malaysian Consumers Associations (FOMCA) and Child Passenger Safety Malaysia (CPSM) have questioned the recently-launched child restraint system guidelines by the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (MIROS). CPSM is a non-government organisation focused on educating the public on the importance of using child seats.

According to the two organisations, the guideline indicated that a MIROS QR code will be present in approved seats sold in Malaysia. Upon clarification by FOMCA with the JPJ, it was found that a component type approval by the department is enough to show that a safety seat is approved, as per safety standards. This leads to the question of the necessity of the MIROS QR code.

It is said that there are currently no known child safety seats sold in Malaysia that comes with the QR code, and this has caused parents to hesitate on buying child seats. “It is a counter-intuitive measure to introduce the QR code now when Malaysia is still at its early stage of introducing this new law and promoting the use of child safety seats,” the organisations said in a statement.

Nur Asyikin Aminuddin, a senior manager at FOMCA said that the guideline does not portray the views from stakeholders such as independent bodies and consumers. “MIROS as a research body is not a certifying body. I hope that Standards Malaysia should intervene with this issue as they are the national accreditation body,” she said.

The FOMCA rep added that JPJ and the transport ministry should be the responsible bodies to endorse, set guidelines and make official announcements related to child safety seats; and they should also publish the list of approved brands and models online.

Another issue addressed by FOMCA at a press conference earlier this week was MIROS’ collaboration with Lazada for the latter’s Car Seat Assurance Program. The NGO says that the tie-up is violating the Competition Act 2010 as it breaches the rights of consumers to choose. The association says that it should be an open market and child safety seats should be made available not only through one online platform.

Staying on the topic of child seats, it was reported yesterday that the while the usage of child car seats will become mandatory from January 2020, the transport ministry is considering an exception for those with large families.