Retailers and businesses had been warned of taking advantage of the current global situation such as the Russian invasion of Ukraine to hike prices, said Dato Sri Alexander Nanta Linggi.
The Minister for Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs said the basic economic principles state prices of goods will be affected whenever there is conflict, especially in oil-producing countries.
“When a war happens, there are certainly economic impacts such as import and export, a chain of supply, delivery and logistics which all require the use of oil.”
“Retailers or businessmen should not capitalise on this or use this as a reason to hike prices. We urge businessmen to be ethical,” he was quoted saying by The Borneo Post.
Nanta said that it is not reasonable for price hikes now as the conflicts between Russia and Ukraine happened just recently, but he does not rule out another round of inflation if the conflict is prolonged.
“The conflicts have just started and the impact is not quite there yet. We urge businessmen not to take advantage of the current situation to hike prices.” he said.
Nanta said his ministry will be monitoring the prices of certain goods and supplies in the country to protect consumers. He added that the ministry will not hesitate to enforce the Anti-Profiteering Act 2011 against retailers who resort to price-hike for no good reason.
“Whether war or no war, we have this Act to ensure that businessmen are ethical in conducting businesses. We will not hesitate to take legal actions,” he said.
Nanta said the ministry will conduct random checks to make sure that consumers will not become a victim of unethical business practices.
“We will continue to carry out our duty to ensure that consumers will not be deceived and that businessmen are ethical,” he said.