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McDonald's Malaysia operator faces arrest: lawyer

world Updated: Oct 08, 2009 12:19 IST

US fast food giant McDonald's operator in Malaysia is facing arrest for failing to appear in court to answer a charge of illegally operating an outlet, a government lawyer said on Thursday.

A court in the northern Penang state on Wednesday issued the arrest warrant against Golden Arches Restaurant, the chain's franchise holder in Malaysia, after it twice failed to show up in court, lawyer A Mathana told AFP.

"They have been operating a food establishment in Penang without a licence for more than 12 years," said Mathana, a prosecutor at the Penang local council.

"They are facing the arrest and it is the police duty to execute the arrest warrant," she added.

The burger chain faces a fine of 2,000 ringgit (600 dollars) and its director could be sentenced to as much as a year in jail if convicted.

McDonald's Malaysia -- which opened its first outlet here in 1982 -- said it will investigate the matter and cooperate with the authorities.

"We have 186 restaurants in Malaysia and it appears in the case of this restaurant, something has gone wrong with the business licensing process," it said in a statement to AFP.

"We are investigating what may have happened and we will cooperate fully with the authorities to rectify the situation immediately."