Retailers want grace period before Sirim labels enforced

SIBU: Local retailers of electrical products welcome the move to require only products with the Sirim label can be put up for sale.

Manager of Star Trading’s Electrical department, Jeffery Wong, said his company would remove items without the Sirim label from their shelves.

He said even though it meant they would suffer “heavy losses” the company would still abide by the decision of the Public Utilities Ministry.

“We will remove them from the shelves and will only sell those with the Sirim label. No problem with that,” he said.

Asked why the company had been selling those without the official label, he said although the label was an assurance of quality, customers were constantly looking for cheaper things.

“Our customers are not those from the high-income bracket. If we sell a plug with the Sirim label, people will complain of its higher tag,” he added.

According to Wong, an electrical plug with the Sirim label costs RM15 while those without are sold at at between RM3 and RM5 only.

“We used to apply from the relevant body for the Sirim label when importing our goods from China and most of the time, our applications were rejected. We were not told of the reason why our applications were rejected,” Wong said.

He said almost 90% of electrical products were made in China, even branded ones from Germany were also manufactured in China due to the cheaper labour.

Sing Kwong Supermarket manager John Yip said his company had already removed electrical items without the Sirim label since last year after the local Ministry of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism conducted a talk on the need to have the label.

He said his company fully supported such move as it was for the safety of the consumers when using electrical items.

SuperSave manager Magdalene Lee said the Sirim label requirement deserved to be supported but wanted the Government to give them a cooling period to slowly dispose of items without such label.

“We also hope the Government would give us some kind of subsidy to offset our losses as we have a huge stock,” she added.

SuperSave is a chainstore specialising in electrical items which are mostly imported.

Lee is worried that the ruling could mean that many imported electrical goods with very high standard but without the Sirim label would be kept out of the market.

“We also import products from Japan and Germany. They are without the Sirim label but their quality can be even better than those with the Sirim label. What becomes of these products?” she asked.

She said in fact items which bore the European Certification (CE) were of the highest quality and safety standard.

According to her, many people used to complain that items with the Sirim label were more costly than those without it or with the CE.

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