Friday 12 July 2013


by : Hiew King Cheu

The consumer goods prices are still on the rise, and the matter was brought up by the Luyang Assemblyman Hiew King Cheu in the State Assembly sitting recently. He asked the Minister of Community Development and consumer Affair Datuk Hajah Jainab Ahmad Ayid over the issue on what is the government’s plan in lowering the goods prices to an affordable level and what are the steps to be taken?
The written reply said that the government is monitoring constantly the essential goods prices and giving out subsidies on various major items like sugar, cooking oil, flour, LPG, petrol RON 95 and diesel fuel. Besides that, the government has also introduced the Kedai Rakyat 1-Malaysia (KR1M) to sell products which are 50% cheaper than the other regular retail prices. From this the people can buy their essential goods at a much lower price and with better quality.

 The PPDNKK Sabah is monitoring and controlling the prices of the essential goods and as from the 6th February 2013 under the initiative of “1Malaysia 1Harga” launched by the government, that means the prices of essential items like sugar, cooking oil, flour, product 1MKR, product Coop 1Malaysia and product from FAMA will be the same through out Malaysia.

Until 2013, there are 25 KR1M shops have been planned in 25 Parliament Constituencies in Sabah. There are 10 already under construction in Beaufort, Tawau, Sandakan, Kota Kinabalu, Kimanis, Putatan, Semoprna, Libaran, Beluran, and Tenom. The 3 shops in operation are in Inanam, Tuaran and Kota Belud.

Hiew has in view that the measures mentioned in the reply is not sufficient to control the escalating prices of the essential goods prices in the market. A very simple example is a cup of coffee and a plate of fried mee. The goods prices are increasing and there seem nothing the government can help to control the prices.

A good example is the house rental rates are shooting to a very high level, and many people can no longer afford to pay the rentals now, and this applies also to the expensive housing prices nowadays. This all boils down to the high prices of materials, labour cost, and land cost. There are many items that we need to deal with, and not only the sugar, cooking oil and our fuels as mentioned in the reply.

The KR1M shops and its cheaper prices will not be effective and that will not solve our problem on the rising goods prices. There must be thousands of other measure to cut goods prices and there are immediate ways that the government can adopt to help. By reducing the expensive port charges and its handling charges can be the first step. The abolishing of the “Cabotage Policy”, the unfair shipping policy, could be the next steps to cheaper goods prices.

There is still much to do and to achieve by the government to cut down our essential goods prices and in turns to help the people over their high spending. With the slow economy in Sabah, it makes this even more urgent to take care of.

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