2,000 officers to monitor prices of goods during festive season
KUCHING: The Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry (KPDNKK) has mobilised more than 2,000 enforcement officers nationwide to monitor the price of goods during Ramadan and the upcoming Pesta Keamatan and Hari Gawai celebrations.
Deputy Minister Datuk Henry Sum Agong said 13 items had been listed in the seven-day Festive Season Price Control Scheme in conjunction with Pesta Kaamatan and Hari Gawai in Sabah and Sarawak.
“Effective today (yesterday), all the controlled items cannot be sold above the ceiling prices fixed by the government,” he said at a supermarket yesterday.
“We are very concerned and serious in addressing the rising cost of living.
“Thus, our officers, including those in plain clothes, will monitor the prices in supermarkets and wet markets.
“We will not allow traders to raise prices due to high demand during the festive season,” he said.
Henry said apart from the officers, other agencies such as the media, village heads, People’s Volunteer Corps (Rela) as well as “Friends of KPDNKK”, would also help to monitor prices.
About 100,000 people have registered as “Friends of KPDNKK”. They act as the dep ar tment’s eyes and ears to ensure that traders comply with the rules and regulations.
The controlled items for Pesta Kaamatan and Hari Gawai 2017 are live chicken, standard chicken, super chicken, mature live chicken, chicken wings, Grade A, B and C eggs, imported beef (India), shallots (India), garlic (China), pork (stomach), pork (meat and fat) and live pigs.
The scheme was implemented under the Price Control Act and Anti-Profiteering Act 2011, which provides for a RM100,000 fine and imprisonment, or maximum compound of RM50,000 for an individual offender.
Companies that fail to comply with the scheme face a RM500,000 fine, or a compound of up to RM250,000.
Traders who fail to display the controlled items with a pink price tag face fines of up to RM10,000 or compound up to RM5,000 for individuals, or maximum RM20,000 fine or RM10,000 compound for companies.
“The pink price tag is for the convenience of customers so that they can spot the prices of controlled items more easily,” Henry said.
Last year, eight cases were reported during Hari Gawai in Sarawak, four cases in Kuching and two each in Mukah and Sibu.
Items worth RM1,096.35 were seized and compounds totalling RM1,000 were issued to the operators involved.
Datuk Henry Sum Agong