Traders under probe over price hike of controlled products

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PUTRAJAYA: The Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry received 350 complaints on controlled items being sold above their fixed prices in the first nine months of this year.

The ministry’s enforcement director Azman Adam said the most number of complaints were on cooking oil with 172 reports, followed by liquefied petroleum gas (111), sugar (28), Covid-19 test kits (17), face masks (11) and flour (11).

He said 162 investigation papers were opened against traders for allegedly breaching price controls and the cases were still under investigation.

“Traders selling above the recommended price can be subjected to action under the Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act 2011 and be penalised,” he said in a statement yesterday.

Errant individuals can be fined up to RM100,000 or jailed not more than three years or both, or be compounded up to RM50,000. For companies, they can be fined up to RM500,000 or be compounded a maximum RM250,000.

Azman said essential goods such as coarse and fine white sugar, wheat flour, cooking oil, liquefied petroleum gas, face masks and Covid-19 antigen test kits, have had their selling prices fixed for all types of shops and business platforms, including online platforms.

“This is to ensure that people can enjoy essential items at controlled prices and are not burdened by any increase in the cost of living now,” he said, adding that the prices set do not include delivery charges. — Bernama