By Karen Bong
KUCHING, Feb 14: The Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs received 21,000 complaints involving pricing of goods and e-commerce, particularly in fraudulent online retail, throughout the country last year.
Its Deputy Minister Chong Chieng Jen revealed that online transactions were the second highest complaints reported.
“That’s why the government has come up with regulations in that the sellers must have address and contact so that the authorities could detect if there was any consumer issues,” he told reporters after launching Sarawak Consumer Expo organised by Consumer Voice Association of Sarawak (Covas) at VivaCity Megamall here today.
Chong thus emphasised that such an expo provided a good platform for Sarawakians to know their rights as consumers.
“As consumers, we need to know our rights and the right channel to get our complaints correctly addressed and solved. We should have knowledge on how to utilise the channels when encountered with certain needs.
“This expo will try to expose the consumers of the actual functions of various government departments because not any government department could handle all the complaints,” he explained.
While not all goods in the market were being regulated, Chong advised consumers to be smart when shopping by practicing comparison shopping.
“We practice free market system where businesses can sell their products at their respective prices.
“If consumers make comparisons before making purchases including checking their quality, it can reduce the chance of them being cheated or bought over priced goods,” he said.
Chong hope through the expo, it will improve consumers’ confidence through the synergy of government departments, agencies and Covas.
“Together it is our hope that we will have a unified voice to create a fairer market for consumers,” he added.
During the function, Chong also presented allocation totalling RM21,000 to seven non-governmental organisations namely Kuching Autistic Association, Grace Centre, Red Cross Malaysia Stampin, House of Joy, Sarawak Children’s Cancer Society, Sarawak Society for the Deaf and Hope Place. —DayakDaily