KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said he used kangkung (water spinach) to explain the principle of supply and demand because it was a popular vegetable.
"I like to eat kangkung, you all like to eat kangkung. As such, I gave an example which everybody eats. If I use quail as an example, only certain people eat it," he said.
"The example should not be ridiculed by anybody because I gave the example on the principle of supply and demand which decide the prices of some of the food commodities which are not subject to price controls," he said.
Najib also drew attention that the vegetable was only one example of food items used by the public.
The Prime Minister also said he had ordered the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry (KPDNKK) to be more firm against traders who arbitrarily raise prices of goods.
Najib said this was to ensure traders were more ethical in carrying out their commercial activities and at the same time help the people.
"I have ordered the ministry to use existing laws against any trader who announce prices or charges which are too high merely to get more profit (profiteering).
"This is one way how we can help reduce the prices for consumers, particularly prices hiked up by unethical traders out to take advantage of the current situation," he said at a 'Dinner with the Prime Minister' organised by the Malaysian Indian Muslim Congress here Thursday night.
He also urged consumers to be more proactive by reporting to the authorities if they detected traders who deliberately raised prices of goods.
Apart from this, Najib said he and his deputy Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin themselves would go down to the ground to check on prices of goods more closely.
According to Najib, he would also take the opportunity to promote shops offering reasonable prices to the people.
"And we will advertise or inform all parties that these are the shops that should be frequented by the public," he said. - Bernama