It has become the norm to see grocery prices hiked up during the festival season in Malaysia. Despite authorities’ efforts to control the hikes, many business owners choose to disobey the law.
“Few days ago, we managed to catch three owners who not only hiked their prices but also didn’t display the prices,” said the Minister of the Ministry of Domestic Trade, Co-operative and Consumerism, Dato’s Seri Hamzah Zainudin at Econsave Ampang, Ipoh on January 24 recently.
Hamzah and his entourage paid a visit to Ipoh’s Wet Market at the Urban Transformation Centre (UTC) Ipoh and Econsave Supermarket in Ampang to check the prices of certain controlled items such as eggs, chicken, garlic and prawns. It was during the visit that Hamzah advised consumers to be smart when choosing groceries.
“Take chocolate malt drinks for example. If you feel the price is too expensive, perhaps it is time to opt for another brand. There are cheaper options like Econsave’s chocolate malt drink with the taste similar to the more expensive brands,” added Hamzah.
Hamzah also reminded business owners to follow the prices recommended by the authority or they may be charged or worse, jailed.
“According to the Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act 2011 (AKHAP), any individual found guilty selling controlled items beyond the allocated prices can either be sentenced to at least three years in jail or charged with a RM100,000 fine or both,” said Hamzah.