Fomca to Shahrizat: Don’t tell us how to do our job

PETALING JAYA: When fuel prices go up, prices of items like even “ais kosong” shoot up but when fuel prices come down, everything that went up still stays “up”.

So who’s to blame for this? Wanita Umno chief Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil seems to know at least one party responsible for this unfair practice – weak consumer associations.

Shahrizat reportedly said consumer bodies now lack the bite they used to have in the past when they were feared by errant traders, saying they must re-establish this to tackle issues that affect consumers such as unscrupulous traders who refuse to bring down prices despite the decline in oil prices.

Her statement did not sit well with Federation of Malaysian Consumers Associations (Fomca) president Datuk Dr Marimuthu Nadason, who said Shahrizat is “barking down the wrong tree”.

“She has been a Cabinet minister before. Does she not know that policies are decided by policy makers and not us?

“She should be speaking to the Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism Ministry (KPDNKK) on what their enforcement officers are doing. Does she not know that enforcement lies with them and not us?” asked an irate Marimuthu.

He said in addition to KPDNKK, Shahrizat should “also think about speaking to the Agriculture and Agro-Based Industries Ministry on what they are doing about this”.

“If they know that supply is shrinking, shouldn’t they be increasing their permits to flood the market with these items so that prices remain competitive?

“Sharizat should also be asking them what their long term plan is for the agriculture sector because there are still thousands of acres of idle land in the country. Shouldn’t she ask them about this as our import bills are so high?” asked Marimuthu.

The press release of the Malaysian External Trade Statistics in December 2014 states that on a year-on-year (y-o-y) basis imports increased RM2.3 billion to RM58.5 billion.

Imports of consumption goods which accounted for 7.8 per cent of total imports expanded RM199.2 million to RM4.6 billion.

Marimuthu suggested that Sharizat should talk to the International Trade and Industry Ministry on the types of agreements they are signing all over the world and the impact it has on the prices of goods in the country.

“She should be talking to these people. Do not point fingers. I am not a Cabinet minister. If you want me to be one, hire me,” he said.



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