Following the formation of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), this research paper reviewed the enforcement problems from the Direct Selling and Direct Marketing Act 2002 (DSDMA) that was concluded in 2015 using a documentary or qualitative study and related laws in Thailand, the UK, and Malaysia for a comparative study on individual issues reflecting the problems that need to be solved. In addition, direct field surveys, (in-depth interviews and focus groups) can help clarify the problems based on the experiences of the relevant groups of people (consumers, business sectors, and sales agents). The findings revealed that the income and profit from the direct-sales business has increased worldwide as shown from the records of the World Federation of Direct Selling Associations with income in 2016 of USD 182.6 billion (WFDSA, 2017) with the biggest ASEAN market. Its mechanism, pattern, and a high remuneration influenced some swindlers to disguise businesses and resulted in the formation of pyramid schemes which affected the country's economy. In order to protect consumers from such fraud, border enforcement, sub-laws, and guidelines need to be in position. In the short term, it is suggested to reconsider and clarify the relevant laws, and business practices and to increase sanctions especially for money scheme fraud. The Office of the Consumer Protection Board (OCPB) is proposed to be the principal agency through integration with other relevant organizations to adopt a more proactive strategy. In the long term, the OCPB may adjust to be a quasi-organization that is autonomous. Consumers should also be more aware of business fraud and learn to be more protective to eliminate some problems. If self-regulation were in place, specific legislation might not be needed, but could instead be integrated into general legislation, for example, contract and criminal law as in the USA and perhaps in Malaysia in the near future.
Galasintu, S., Supanit, S., & Chaiittivej, C. (2018). The issue of direct sales and direct marketing law and enforcement in Thailand: A comparative study of the relevant UK and Malaysia laws. Kasetsart Journal of Social Sciences, 39(2), 328–333. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.kjss.2018.05.005