Published on: Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Its chief Yamani Hafez Musa said the squad will monitor the prices of goods voluntarily at all business premises including restaurants, wet markets and supermarkets with guidance from the ministry's office here.
He said the squad will also be working hand in hand with Sabah Barisan Nasional (BN) Youth in mobilising the squad in the whole State.
"The squad is set up at all divisions level and it is not exclusively comprised of the youth members as their families like parents, siblings, wives and friends can also be part of the squad and channel the information to us.
"Each can play an effective role in monitoring the prices of goods in particular essential items in their respective areas to the Domestic Trade, Consumerism and Cooperative Ministry so that appropriate action can be taken.
"They can just call up the ministry's toll free line at 1-800-886-800 or email to the ministry through its website to channel any irregularities of prices in business premises as well as other relevant complaints," he said.
Yamani said the squad is even willing to work together and share information with the opposition youth wings to address the exorbitant prices of goods especially essential items.
He said this in a press conference after monitoring prices of goods with the ministry at Giant Supermarket in Kolombong here on Tuesday.
Also present were Sabah Umno Youth main committee members and the ministry's Sabah deputy director Suhaimi Mat Sari.
"We want to make sure the prices of essential goods are streamlined and follow the controlled item pricing and there is no sudden increase in prices of non-essential items which might be exploited by the traders for higher profit.
"At the same time, consumers must also be wise in making comparison of prices and practice prudence in their spending," Yamani said.
He assured that any information on hike of prices in goods will be channeled to the ministry for further action.
Yamani said the establishment of the squad was based on non-partisan principles as it involved consumers' interest and it should not be politicised until its aim to protect the consumers' rights is achieved.
Meanwhile, Suhaimi said a total of 160 cases were recorded from Jan 1 until Monday with Kota Kinabalu and Tawau among locations with errant traders.
Of the figure, he said 90 per cent of the cases were for failing to display price tags and the remaining 10 per cent was for increasing the prices of goods by about 10 per cent from the original pricing.
He said all the cases have been taken action on for violating provisions under Section 21 of the Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act 2011 that carries a maximum fine of RM100,000 or three years' jail or both, upon conviction.
Last year, Suhaimi said 400 traders were penalised for failing to display price tags on their goods and all have been compounded.