MIRI: The Ministry of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry (KPDNKK) has confirmed that a Kedai Rakyat 1Malaysia (KR1M) operating in Miri City has shut down for economic reasons, reported Bernama yesterday,
KPDNKK Miri branch chief, Joe Azmi Jamil said the KR1M in Tudan was closed down as the operator suffered losses competing with supermarkets and hypermalls in the city.
“Right now, only one KR1M, in Pujut, Miri City is still in operation,” he told Bernama yesterday.
Joe Azmi, however, admitted that the sole operator of KR1M in Miri City was facing similar problems but the situation was still under control.
He expects the situation to be back to normal once the new operator of KR1M takes over the operation.
According to Bernama, the KR1M operation in Sarawak was embroiled in controversy in April last year when there were allegations of abuse of the items being sold at these retail outlets that led to the shortage of supplies.
The allegations resulted in a surprise visit by the ministry’s Deputy Minister Datuk Henry Sum Agong at the Miri KR1M after which, he denied there were elements of abuse involved as the supplies were adequate.
In August, the minister, Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin announced that the government would be launching KR1M 2.0 soon to help reduce the cost of living with new operators taking over the daily running of KR1M.
KR1M was mooted by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in June 2011, aimed at reducing the people’s burden from the rising cost of living and to assist local small and medium enterprises.
In related news, in Kuala Lumpur yesterday Bernama reported Hamzah as saying that the temporary closure of KR1M is part of the ministry’s upgrading process as was revealed in July by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi
The minister said it was part of the ministry’s upgrading plans through the KR1M 2.0 initiative to offer essential items at a cheaper price with more choices of goods to customers besides encouraging entrepreneurship and business opportunities for the public.
“This upgrading will also encourage better collaborations between government agencies and open business opportunities to local manufacturers and producers,” he said in a statement.
He said further information on the upgrading will be announced soon and it was part of the government’s commitment to improve services to the public.