KUALA LUMPUR: Consumers should immediately lodge a complaint along with evidence about food being sold at high prices to deal with traders who are taking advantage of the current flood disaster.
Member of the Board of Trustees at the National Consumer Complaints Centre (NCC), Muhammad Shaani Abdullah, said a journalist from Bernama was forced to pay RM23 for a plate of rice with fried mackerel, long beans and a glass of hot tea.
“This must be taken as a lesson by all parties, especially the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs,” he said when contacted by Bernama.
In his news report on January 1, the reporter was shocked to have to pay RM23 which is almost five times more than the regular price of RM5, on a normal day, at an eatery in Tanah Merah, Kelantan.
He said the trader apologised to him and gave reasons that it was difficult to get the fish and vegetables and that he had to go to Kota Baru located about 70km from Tanah Merah to buy the products.
Muhammad Shaani said everyone should play a role in ensuring that food sold at extreme prices did not recur in the future, especially when the country is now facing a flood disaster.
“The Ministry of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism should be proactive in dealing with traders who take advantage by raising the price of food and everyday items now.
“If necessary, ministry officials should go undercover to ensure traders do not simply set prices at their whim and take advantage of consumers,” he said.
Meanwhile, Muslim Consumers Association of Malaysia head activist Nadzim Johan said the ministry needs to act decisively and proactively and not just wait for complaints from consumers.