KUALA LUMPUR – An economic analyst has proposed that the government hold discussions with consumers’ associations, wholesalers and suppliers as well as traders to arrive at a consensus on the appropriate prices of goods.
Prof Datuk Mohd Yusof Kasim said the discussions should encompass the costs of production, raw materials, manpower and transportation to ensure that the prices of goods were relevant and did not burden consumers.
“Consumers can, as a group, take action against those who continue to maintain exorbitant prices even after the discussions,” he told Bernama.
Mohd Yusof, who is the rector of the Insaniah University College (Kuin), said suppliers and wholesalers who reduced the prices of their goods following the reduction in the cost of fuel would be able to increase sales.
“This is the time for suppliers and wholesalers to compete to draw more buyers of their goods at competitive prices,” he said.
Federation of Malaysian Consumers Associations (FOMCA) secretary-general Datuk Paul Selvaraj said it was necessary to strictly enforce the Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act 2011 on traders who refused to reduce the prices of their goods.
“The legislation exists. The Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry should enforce the law. Legal action can be taken against those who defy the ministry order,” he said.
He said consumers had expressed their dissatisfaction over the reluctance of traders to reduce prices.
“What FOMCA can do is to urge the government to use existing legislation to act against those traders who rake in excessive profit,” he said.
Several people interviewed expressed disappointment that traders refused to reduce the prices of their goods.
Muhammad Saifuddin Harizon, 27, of Keramat here said consumers had the right and power to bring down the prices of goods through a boycott.
He also said that consumers should find out the actual prices of goods by making comparisons.
Nurezwana Jamain, 24, of Sungai Buloh, Selangor, expressed disappointment that the prices of goods had not dropped in tandem with the reduction in the prices of fuel.
Traders should reduce prices so as to raise the purchasing power of consumers and help the national economy, she said.