KUCHING, May 28: There was no panic buying reported at a major supermarket in Kota Samarahan as had been viraled on social media despite a two-week snap Movement Control Order (MCO) announced for Sarawak yesterday.
Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP) Sarawak enforcement chief officer Mogan Arumugan, who led a team to inspect the situation, explained that the long queues were formed due to crowd control measures in place as well as month-end and last-minute shopping for the upcoming Gawai festival.
“Shoppers had to bear long queues outside the premises following the order to limit the number of people allowed in a premises at any one time in compliance with the standard operating procedures issued by the government.
“The customers also adhered to the one-metre physical distancing measures. So the long queues to wait for their turns to enter the supermarkets gave an impression of a panic buying,” he said in a press statement today.
Moreover, due to the upcoming Gawai Dayak festival and MCO, Mogan pointed out that consumers were out for last-minute festive shopping and to stock up on staples and household necessities for a longer period of time to avoid going out frequently in order to help Sarawak curb the Covid-19 pandemic.
He also assured that essential food and goods supplies are sufficient and priced accordingly throughout Sarawak.
In addition, he said that a total of 11 items have been listed under the Festive Season Maximum Price Control Scheme for Hari Gawai Dayak 2021 which comes into effect starting today until June 3.
“The items include chicken, chicken eggs, meat and pork,” he added.
Mogan emphasised that KPDNHEP Sarawak will continue to carry out monitoring and inspections at premises throughout Sarawak to ensure businesses comply with the scheme.
“Action will be taken against any business that violated the rules and regulations under the Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act 2011.
“Individuals found to have sold controlled items above maximum price will be fined RM100,000 or jail term of not more than three years, or both or compound up to RM50,000.
“A company will be fined RM500,000 or compound up to RM250,000,” he warned.
For the offence of not displaying pink price tags for controlled items, an individual will be fined RM10,000 or compound up to RM5,000, while a company will be fined RM20,000 or compound of up to RM10,000. — DayakDaily