MORE than 82,000 products at Malaysia's supermarkets will be cheaper by up to 70 per cent, as part of the country's nationwide price reduction campaign launched on Sunday.
Up to 16 companies are involved, including The Store, Tesco, Aeon Big, Giant, Mydin, Milimewa Supermarket & Departmental Store, TF Value Mart, UO Superstore and Econsave Cash & Carry.
More than 1,000 branches of these companies will be taking part, offering discounts for products ranging from food to clothes and other necessities.
"The government is always sensitive about the rising costs of living. That is why we have taken the initiative to launch this campaign with the cooperation of supermarkets and hypermarkets nationwide," said Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Hasan Malek.
"We can do this after engaging with manufacturers, wholesalers, suppliers, traders, associations and non-governmental organisations."
The price cut comes despite a recent fuel price hike. Mr Hasan said petrol costs were not the sole determining factor for the prices of goods.
Other factors - such as weather, currency exchange, tariffs, minimum wage and natural disasters - must also be taken into account, he added.
The duration of the campaign would depend on the supermarkets' stocks and ability to supply the goods, said Mr Hasan.
"We practise an open economy. So, the job of tackling the rising costs of living is not easy. However, the government believes that the situation can still be controlled with everyone's cooperation, so that the effect on the public can be minimised," he said, with the assurance that quality would be maintained through monitoring by the ministry.
In Kuala Terengganu, State Speaker Mohd Zubir Embong said more supermarkets should participate in the campaign.
"There is no subsidy or incentive from the federal government to take part and it is up to the supermarket owners themselves...We hope that more will come forward and participate," he said at the launch of the campaign at Emporium Hock Kee Seng on Sunday.
A check at Emporium Hock Kee Seng saw about 50 items marked with reduced prices, with discounts ranging from RM1 (about 40 Singapore cents) to RM5 (S$1.88).
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