Cheaper goods dispute: SUPP Youth secretary, Chong tit-for-tat continues

Foo shows the news report carried by Sin Chew Daily on his tablet.

By Karen Bong

KUCHING, Jan 29: Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) Youth secretary Milton Foo wants Deputy Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Chong Chieng Jen to explain the discrepancy between the ministry’s list of cheaper goods and the retailers’ and merchants’ list of more expensive goods.

“The list from the retailers and merchants is incompatible to the one Chong has released. So, which is the correct one?” he told a press conference at the party headquarters here today.

“The ministry said the prices of 70 per cent of consumers goods have gone down after the implementation of the Sales and Services Tax (SST), but on the other hand, the merchants came out with another story.”

Foo was responding to a news report in Sin Chew Daily on Jan 26 which highlighted the retailers’ and merchants’ side of the story on the pricing of consumer goods following the implementation of SST.

To compare, he picked four items that people would consume on a daily basis from the retailers’ list of average prices of selected items in Malaysia as of Dec 2018. It showed that Maggi Curry was priced RM4.09 before SST but now cost RM4.17 after SST, while Milo Active 1.5kg (RM36.55/RM37.08), oyster sauce (RM6.34/RM6.55) and Nestle coffee 200g (RM19.58/RM20.30).

“Moreover, from the list that Chong provided, most of the items were imported, such as seasonal vegetables and fruits, which is fresh produce that decays fast. It is not like basic or daily goods, such as rice. Those were seasonal for Chinese New Year, and I assumed that comes with promotion or sales.”

In addition, Foo also questioned why the list of goods’ prices was published on Chong’s official Facebook page instead of the ministry’s website.

He, thus, suggested that Chong organised a shopping trip with consumers to bring them to buy the cheaper goods in town.

“If he is organising one, I will be the first to join, including grouping all the people who are interested to come along. Whenever I meet people, they often question me where can they buy the cheaper goods that Chong mentioned.

“The supermarket that I went to, the pricing of the consumer goods was different than that of Chong’s. So, I and the public would be glad if Chong can bring us to the retailers that offer cheaper goods.”

Foo claimed that many people were facing financial difficulties with the rising cost of living, more so now as the Chinese New Year celebration looms. — DayakDaily