SIBU, May 22: Hari Raya and Gawai revellers in Sibu, Selangau and Kanowit have been advised not to indulge in panic buying for essential items as there are sufficient supply of them.
Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs, Sibu branch chief Kelyn Bolhassan told reporters after an inspection on Everwin Supermarket here that based on his department’s constant monitoring on the situation, it was found that there is no shortage of these essential items.
“As a consumer, the public must be wise and not indulge in panic buying,” he advised.
Kelyn also warned businesses not to sell more than the maximum price for controlled items for the two celebrations.
He said the maximum price scheme for control items for Raya lasts for 15 days from May 20 to June 3 while those for Gawai is seven days from May 28 to June 3.
“The ministry has identified nine items for the scheme for Raya and 10 items for Gawai.
The maximum price was fixed for these items due to strong demand during the two celebrations.The move is to avoid traders from profiteering,” he added.
Among the items are live chicken standard chicken, super chicken,chicken egg, imported beef, coconut and grated coconut.
“Stern action will be taken against errand traders for profiteering under the Price Control Act and Anti-profiteering Act 2011,” he revealed.
For individual offender, they can be fined up to RM10,000 in court or an imprisonment up to three years or both or a compound of RM50,000.
Kelyn said the penalty for companies is a fine of up to RM500,000 or a compound of RM250,000.
He also said that the public can lodge a complaint to the ministry through its toll-free number 1800886800 or firstname.lastname@example.org while the WhatsApp number is 019-2794317.
“For the period January to May 20, we have received a total of 86 complaints mostly on prices of good and services.
“Out of this we have looked into 51 cases with goods seized amounting to RM111,727 and compounds issued amounting to RM11,150,” he said.
On the number of premises inspected this year in Sibu and Selangau, he said it involved 2,837 of them. – DayakDaily