Daily Express
INDEPENDENT NATIONAL NEWSPAPER OF EAST MALAYSIA
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Panel to monitor Sabah prices

Published on: Thursday, January 09, 2014

Kota Kinabalu: The State Cabinet has decided to form a committee headed by State Community Development and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Jainab Ahmad to monitor the exorbitant hikes in the prices of goods and services in the State.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman said the committee would be working together with the Federal Domestic Trade, Consumerism and Co-operative Ministry Sabah branch to monitor the situation as well as in creating consumerism awareness.

Speaking after chairing the first State Cabinet meeting for this year at Wisma Innoprise, Wednesday, he said the matter was among the issues discussed by the Cabinet because it was worrying the people of Sabah.

Musa reiterated that he had received reports on unjustifiable increases in prices of certain food items and believed it is the work of unscrupulous middlemen.

While it was understandable that there would be a general increase in prices of goods and services due to the increase in fuel price, it was unacceptable to unreasonably jack up the prices.

"The price hike is not just due to the recent electricity tariff and fuel price hike but it is the work of the middlemen," he said. Musa said the opposition had also manipulated the issue.

However, most importantly, he said the work of the unscrupulous middlemen must be stopped.

"Therefore, we need to address this matter quickly," he said.

Musa said the nation's economy is subject to global forces and thus strategic measures have to be put into place in order for it to sustain itself.

"Just because price of fuel has gone up, there is no justification to increase the prices of certain items by 100 to 200 percent," he said.

He said consumers must also be aware of the current market price of goods and service and not be taken for a ride by unscrupulous traders.