Consumers want income issues and living costs addressed

KUALA LUMPUR: Consumer groups are calling for a Budget that will address the issues of people’s income, living costs and consumer empowerment.

Federation of Malaysian Consu- mers Associations (Fomca) chief executive officer Dr Saravanan Thambirajah said the most serious issues facing most consumers were unemployment and reduced income.

“Although data from the Statistics Department showed that the unemployment rate has dropped to 3.9%, there are still complaints from workers (who are) forced to work overtime with low wages.

“The time has come for the government to set up a comprehensive social safety net to ensure the quality of life for the people,” he said.

Saravanan also urged the government to include initiatives to control the price or cost of healthcare, including that of medicines, treatments and supplementary health foods offered by private hospitals, clinics and pharmacies.

“(This) is because we often hear patients being charged ridiculous fees, making many in the middle-income group unable to afford private healthcare. Fomca also supports pricing regulations for medicines,” he said.

Saravanan also expressed his hope that the Consumer Credit Act, which is currently being worked on, could be enforced by the end of 2023 at the latest.

He said this was because there was no specific law to control service providers who were free to charge interest rates as they liked.

“Fomca also hopes the ‘Lemon Law’ proposed by the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry will be implemented in Malaysia so consumers will be better protected from fraud and damaged products,” he said. — Bernama

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