PUTRAJAYA: A visit to the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry brought back memories for Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin as it is one of the many ministries he previously helmed before taking on the country’s top job.
As far as consumer affairs go, he was the minister in charge from 1999 to 2004, with his legacy including rolling out the mechanism to fix the ceiling price for essential goods during festivities.
Touching on the subject in his official visit to the ministry here yesterday, he said authorities were aware of moves by certain wholesalers and traders to hike prices indiscriminately during festivities, adding that enforcement authorities should collaborate to tackle this issue.
“We must ensure that unethical practices that burden consumers be stopped in a more comprehensive and effective manner.
“At the same time, consumers must know their rights and play their role to help authorities act against unscrupulous businesses,” he said during the visit hosted by Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi and his deputy Datuk Rosol Wahid.
Muhyiddin said indiscriminate hikes in prices, particularly during festivities, will only burden the people, especially the low-income group and petty traders, adding that this was why the ministry implemented the ceiling price scheme so that such acts could be prevented.
The Prime Minister said while there were changes to the ministry’s job scope over the years, it had remained custodian of the domestic trade sector and consumerism.
“I am confident of your commitment, as civil servants, to provide the best service to the people, including preventing the spread of Covid-19 and ensuring economic activities remain smooth during the pandemic,” he said.
Muhyiddin commended the ministry for its handling of the panic buying situation involving essential goods, face masks and hand sanitisers with the onset of the movement control order in March last year, and for ensuring that goods remained sufficient.
The Prime Minister also noted the ministry’s efforts to boost the economy through several initiatives such as “Buy Malaysian Products” and mega sales that generated sales of RM1.24 trillion last year.
Muhyiddin said 2021 promised a better future with the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme in place, which was key to fighting the virus.
“We will also continue with economic recovery efforts.
“The government has identified 10 important points that will determine the way forward for the country,’’ he said, adding that Shared Prosperity Vision 2030 will be the central policy to ensure Malaysians attain decent living standards by 2030.