Haze: Govt sets ceiling prices for face masks

A file picture of assistant pharmacist Foong Pei Pei showing some of the different types of face masks available on the market.

PETALING JAYA: A ceiling price has been put on five types of face masks amid the haze crisis, with the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry warning stern action against traders who hike up prices unreasonably.

Face masks are listed as price controlled items, whereby the maximum price is fixed for five types of face masks under the Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act 2011, said Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail.

The price for the N95 face mask has been set at a maximum wholesale price of RM100 per box and retail price of RM6 per unit, Saifuddin said in a statement on Wednesday (Sept 18).

The one-ply face mask (ear loop) is set at a maximum wholesale price of RM5 per box, or a retail price of RM7 per box.

Other types such as the two-ply face mask (ear loop) is fixed at a maximum wholesale price of RM8 per box, retail price of RM10 per box, or 20 sen per unit.

The three-ply face mask (ear loop/head loop) is set a maximum wholesale price of RM25 per box, or retail price of 80 sen per unit.

Meanwhile, the three-ply face mask (tie-on) is set at a maximum wholesale price of RM30 per box, or 80 sen per unit.

“Those who breach any provisions under the Act for all types of face masks stated will face legal action.

“Other than the five types of face masks that were given a maximum price, the Ministry still has the power to take action under the Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act 2011 against any moves to unreasonably raise the wholesale or retail prices of other face masks, ” said Saifuddin.

So far, 1,115 business premises selling face masks nationwide had been checked by the Ministry’s enforcement officers.

This resulted in three warnings being issued and one action taken with items worth RM30 being seized and a fine of RM200 dished out.

“The Ministry will continue its monitoring during the haze season and take stern action against any parties taking advantage of the situation by unreasonably raising the prices of face masks, ” added Saifuddin.

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