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Price hikes: Consumers can file complaints

On Friday    20-05-2022 15:37:00

20 May 2022

 

Press statement by MCA Spokesperson Saw Yee Fung

 

Price hikes: Consumers can file complaints


News of a predicted 60% price hike in essential items starting from the next month have caused worries and stress for the majority of Malaysians. Several factors have been cited for this, such as shortage of supply relative to the demand, as well as the enactment of the RM1,500 minimum wage.

 

In addition, Berita Harian on 19 May 2022 reported that Malaysia is experiencing the “Cantillon Effect” phenomenon, which is a change in relative prices resulting from a change in money supply. This could be correlated to the repeated withdrawals from EPF and stimulus packages during the lockdown, which increased the cash liquidity among the public.

 

Seeing this opportunity, certain businesses will surely try to capitalise on these consumers, especially during the festive seasons.

 

One week ago, Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) increased the overnight policy rate (OPR) by 25 basis points to 2%, marking a possible inflation and contributing to a rise in commodity prices.

 

Even before this prediction appeared in the news, Malaysians have already been complaining about price hikes from as early as the beginning of the Ramadan month, when the prices of chicken, beef, and vegetables all increased.

 

Considering that some of these goods are necessities in daily consumption, the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP) and relevant authorities must ensure that markets and shops do not simply raise their prices without justification.

 

The government must take extra care in handling this issue to protect the citizens welfare, considering that we have just entered the endemic phase following the arduous lockdown due to COVID-19.

 

MCA reminds the public to be more aware of their consumer rights and learn to be smarter consumers. In the event of encounters with unethical business practices, consumers should file a complaint to authorities to take punitive action against them.

 

Meanwhile, businesses and shop owners must refrain from simply raising their prices sharply because they can be charged with a fine of up to RM500,000 for companies; RM100,000 for individuals or imprisonment for up to three years, or both, if found guilty.

 

Saw Yee Fung

MCA Spokesperson

 

-MCA Online-

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