PETALING JAYA: High operating costs such as rent, electricity and wages are among the factors cited by retailers why prices have not come down.
“We need more time, at least three months, to look into the overall cost before the prices can be reduced,” said Malaysian Retailers-Chains Association immediate past president Datuk Seri Nelson Kwok.
Last Tuesday, the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry gave a one-week deadline to traders to reduce prices following a drop in this month’s fuel prices.
Kwok said it was difficult to lower prices of products, which were determined by suppliers, while operating costs such as rent, electricity and wages remained high.
He also said a price reduction was not possible due to unpredictable oil prices or unless there was a significant drop in the prices.
“The minister should explain more as to how prices of goods can be reduced,” he said, adding that it would help if the Government lowers electricity tariffs and controls rental costs.
Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers president Datuk Seri Saw Choo Boon said the situation had to be looked into in totality and industry by industry, sector by sector.
Malaysia-China Chamber of Commerce vice-president Kerk Loong Sing said the petrol price reduction was not significant enough.
Moreover, the price of imported raw materials had also gone up due to the weak ringgit, he said.