Consumers fret over increase in prices of wet goods

KUALA LUMPUR: The recent hike in the price of goods, especially wet goods, has affected consumers who are still reeling from the Covid-19 pandemic and are asking for action to be taken so that the increase will not spiral out of control.

A survey by Bernama at Pasar Datuk Keramat here found that the increase in the price of goods was around 10% to more than 50%, depending on the type of goods, and consumers interviewed hoped the increase would be only temporary.

One consumer, Zamri Husin, 48, said the price of local beef now reached RM34 per kg, compared to the previous price of around RM28 per kg.

"Even the price of bones and lungs has risen by several per cent. The price of vegetables have also gone up between 10sen and almost RM1. I feel we have to control (the situation), otherwise, our burden as buyers will continue to increase,” he said.

Housewife Fauziah Hasnan, 47, complained about the higher price of chicken, which she claimed had now reached RM9 per kg compared to RM7 previously.

"This (price fluctuation) has been going on for several months now. Prices keep going up and down and we are the ones who are burdened,” she said.

Earlier, Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi stated that the increase in chicken and vegetable prices were due to hikes in operating cost of livestock companies, import costs, fertiliser and pesticide prices, which were among the reasons that contributed to the hike in product prices in markets at the moment.

"Several action plans are being drawn up involving the three ministries (including the Finance Ministry and Agriculture and Food Industries Ministry) and I sincerely hope this can be implemented as soon as possible to help consumers and traders who are badly affected," Nanta said in a statement on his Facebook page on Thursday (Nov 25).

The increase in the price of wet goods was also worrying traders, who said the hike was inevitable due to several factors, especially from suppliers.

Federal Territory Malay Hawkers and Petty Traders Association chairman Mohammad Pandu Insani Yahya said that, as a result, traders also had to fork out more capital to obtain the goods, causing a slight increase in selling price.

"Even when we (traders) buy, the price has already increased, so the higher cost also has to be borne by buyers but I hope traders do not take the opportunity to inflate prices. Sometimes, we lose out when buyers decide not to buy our goods," he said.

Local beef trader Muhammad Latiff, 25, admitted that prices for items such as local beef, lungs and bones had increased quite a bit, resulting in some buyers refusing to buy them because they were deemed too expensive.

Meanwhile, chicken trader Zakaria Hamzah, 35, said the increase in chicken prices this time made him stressed out because he was caught in the middle between customers and suppliers.

"We as traders need to increase the price of goods. If previously we could sell at RM7.50 to RM8 per kg, now we have to sell at RM9.50 to RM10 per kg. We are at a loss on how to answer to our customers," he said. - Bernama

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