Prices of goods in Malaysia have experienced a steep hike recently and Malaysians has been calling out to the government to help control the prices of goods.
However, the Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP), Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi said this is normal and his Ministry has been monitoring the prices of 480 types of goods and 1,583 premises on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.
Speaking to Utusan, he said his Ministry found that interstate travel is not the main reason of the price hike by traders, but rather an economic boom due to the reopening of many sectors that made demand exceeds supply.
“This causes prices to increase due to strong competition to obtain the supplies.”
“The situation is expected to be temporary and prices will stabilise after the unusual demand has been met, but it requires time.” he said.
Previously, it was reported that the nation has see a steep increase in prices of daily necessities, construction equipment, agricultural inputs and food item. This had then affected various parties from suppliers, contractors, traders to consumers.
Alexander said that as of the end of October, his Ministry has conducted a total of 788,674 inspections nationwide with 9,953 were found to have violated the Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act (AKHAP) 2011, Control of Supplies Act 1961, Trademarks Act 2019, Weights & Measures Act 1972 and Consumer Protection Act 1999.
He added that his Ministry has issued a total of 5,348 notices to traders to inform them that they are under investigation for taking advantage of consumers by profiteering.
He said 62 cases were opened and 2 trades were being issued a compound for violating AKHAP 2011, while the remaining were still under investigation.
He said the factors that caused the price to increase, especially for food items, were due to weather, the cost of raw materials and demand and supply issue.
Besides, the prices of fertilisers and pesticides have increased and this does not only affect our country, but world wide.
As for construction materials, where his Ministry has conducted the Catut 8.0 operation from 7 to 15 April, 120 notices were issued to businesses and it involved 176 types of materials. However, only 1 case was opened.
He said this shows that the increase in the price of construction materials is due to the increase in costs and not due to profiteering.