KUALA LUMPUR: Consumers especially housewives can now register as members of the Consumers Squad to monitor price increases.
The move could also prevent errant retailers from increasing the prices arbitrarily now although the goods and services tax (GST) only come into effect in April next year.
Wanita MCA is working closely with the Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism Ministry to recruit more women to be the eyes and ears of the Government to curb inflationary pressure.
The wing’s chairman Datuk Heng Seai Kie said housewives were targeted because they frequented the markets and shops.
“They know the prices well and they are the best people for the job,” she said after opening the “GST and You” seminar here yesterday.
She said Malaysians who were above 18 years old could join the squad.
Once approved, she said the members would get a member card each, which entitled them to discounts at more than 200 outlets throughout the country.
At the seminar, Heng said the 6% GST, to be collected by the Government, was among the lowest in the world.
She added that the GST in Singapore and Thailand were at 7% while Cambodia and Indonesia charged 10%, the Philippines 12% and China 17%.
According to the GST official website, Malaysia is among the less than 10 countries which charged a GST of 5% (lowest) and 6%; the highest is Gambia in Africa at 40%.
Registration for the Consumers Squad can be done via the ministry’s counters at the “GST and You” seminars nationwide or log on to 1pengguna.com.
In Putrajaya, Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Chua Tee Yong said a total of 209,000 companies had registered for the GST which surpassed the Government’s target for the year.
He said the Customs Department would continue with its registration efforts to reach out to more companies.
“The implementation of the GST starting April next year will be challenging and if a company registers, the Customs Department will be able to have an in-depth understanding of the company itself and assist it with GST-related issues,” he said after attending the Treasury’s 40th Sports Carnival closing ceremony here.