PETALING JAYA: Major hypermarkets involved in the price reduction campaign nationwide have given their assurance that the quality of their food and essential items will not be compromised as they slash prices by up to 30 per cent.
Although the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry announced March 1 as the start of the campaign, many companies have begun cutting the prices of their goods and produce.
Apart from hypermarkets and supermarkets, some restaurants have also pledged to drop prices.
Hypermarket Aeon Big launched its "Always Low Prices" campaign on Jan 16.
Its director A. Rashid Adam, who said the campaign involved price cuts on 2,500 items, gave his guarantee that prices would stay low throughout the year.
He said the products included daily essentials such as rice, noodles, Milo, coffee, biscuits and jams as well as non-food items such as liquid detergent, electrical and electronic appliances, and health and beauty items like shampoo, shower gel and cleansers.
"Customers can expect to see an average of 10 per cent lower prices on these 2,500 items until the end of the year."
He said Aeon Big would ensure that the price drop would not affect the quality of their products.
"We are committed to maintaining these low prices for the benefit of consumers," he said.
Another major hypermarket, Mydin Mohamed Holdings, has chosen to lower the prices of 50 essential items as the company has seen a decline in operating costs.
"As the first step, Mydin reduced the prices of 50 items by up to 30 per cent from Feb 13.
"They are available in 18 Mydin Hypermarkets, 16 Mydin Emporiums and three Mydin Bazaars," said its managing director Datuk Ameer Ali Mydin yesterday.
While he could not confirm how long prices would remain low, Ameer said they would review prices at the end of every month and that different items might be included, depending on the situation.
He added that there were suppliers and manufacturers who still refused to drop their prices.
Tesco Malaysia communications manager Rohazida Mohamed said a total of 134 product lines would see a price drop in line with the campaign.
"The average reduction would be between 10 per cent and 50 per cent, and this will continue until April 1, when we have other measures in line with the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST)."
She, too, gave her assurance that there would be no compromise on the quality of items.
Rohazida said Tesco was cutting down on its profits to allow for the drop in prices.
GCH Retail, which runs the Giant hypermarket, concurred there would be no compromise on quality.
"Our main concern is to provide some kind of relief to consumers and profits are not our priority at the moment.
"While a company will need to profit in order to function, we are not prioritising increasing our profits," said its corporate affairs director Roslinda Idrus.
However, she said they would not be able to divulge details of any promotion until the campaign was launched on March 1.
Malaysian Muslim Restaurant Owners Association (Presma) president Noorul Hassan Saul Hameed said at least 50 of its members had pledged to reduce their prices by at least 5 per cent.
He added that there would be no compromises on the size of portions or quality of food.
On how the restaurants would manage to reduce prices, Noorul Hassan said they would just have to sacrifice their profit: "Only 10 per cent of us are raking it in; 30 per cent are well to do while the rest are just breaking even so we will all have to make some sacrifices."
More than 6,000 clinics under the Muslim Doctors Association of Malaysia (Perdim) have offered a 10 per cent discount on medical charges, reports Bernama.
Its president Datuk Dr Ahmad Shukri Ismail said the reduction, as of yesterday, would cover treatment, medication and consultation.
Report compiled by P.Aruna, Desiree Tresa and Tashny Sukumaran