Laman Utama Berita Terkini Polisi Awam ABANDONMENT OF CONSUMER PROTECTION?
ABANDONMENT OF CONSUMER PROTECTION? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dato’ Paul Selva Raj   
Friday, 15 July 2016 18:53

The consideration by the Ministry of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism to abolish the Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act, 2011, is a clear indication that the Minister is willing to abandon legislation that enhance consumer’s protection to protect trader interests in making excess profits at the determinant of consumers welfare. FOMCA has always been urging the Government to have a separate Ministry for Consumer Protection. In the current situation, where the same Minister both promotes business interests and consumer protection, often they get confused on what their priorities should be. In the face of the powerful business lobby, backed by huge resources and funding, consumer protection and interests is always compromised and diluted.


The very fact that the business community wants the Act removed is a clear indication that the Act works. To some extent at least, it serves as a warning to traders that the government has the power through legislation to prevent traders from profiteering and causing suffering to consumers. The government has through the Act, the means to force traders to justify their prices increases; and if found unreasonable to face fines. Of course there will be no actions taken, if businesses can justify their price increases. But if profiteering is proven, enforcement actions can be taken.

The Act provides a clear signal to the market, that the government in its effort to protect consumers’ interests will not tolerate profiteering; that all prices increases must be justified. When GST was implemented, even acknowledged by government, many traders took advantage of the GST implementation to increase their price, way beyond the impact of the GST; that is they took advantage of GST to make excess profits to the determinant of consumers’ welfare. While admitting that the Act did not eliminate this practice, it did to some extent minimise it. Some traders were even charged under the Act for profiteering; again sending a clear message to the business community that the government is serious in protecting consumer’s interests from unethical traders.

Instead of considering repealing the Act, FOMCA urges the government to strengthen the Act and enforce the Act more aggressively to protect consumers’ interests. Enforcement of the Act by the Ministry of Domestic Trade should be strengthened. Repealing the Act only gives the impression to consumers in Malaysia that the Government favours the business interests over consumers’ interest.

FOMCA urges the Minister of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism not to abandon consumers in Malaysia.

Dato’ Paul Selva Raj,
Secretary General, FOMCA


 

 

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