PETALING JAYA - The number of complaints on price hikes reported to the Government tripled after the zero-rating of Goods and Services Tax (GST).
Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said there were 1,400 complaints in May and with zero-rated GST from June 1, 4,500 complaints had been lodged by the end of June.
"Half the complaints were on price hikes on food and drinks at restaurants," he said after attending the Malaysia Retail Chain Association (MRCA) Council Installation Night 2018 event at a hotel here.
Saifuddin urged the people to be the "eyes and ears of the Government" to monitor the prices of goods.
"The people, as consumers, will know best about the movement of prices.
"They spend at hypermarkets and retail shops, so they will know.
"The best way will be to alert the ministry so that we can formulate strategic plans," he said.
Saifuddin said the ministry has 1,044 officers to assist and keep track of prices.
Malaysian Muslim Restaurant Owners Association president Ayoob Khan Muhamad Yakub, when contacted yesterday for comment, maintained that the members had not increased prices for food and drinks.
He said the association's 4,000 Muslim restaurant owners were operating their businesses within the requirements set by the Government.
"However, if there is any price hike, consumers have the right to complain to the ministry," he added.
Fomca deputy president Mohd Yusof Abdul Rahman said consumers have been expressing their dissatisfaction on social media over the prices of goods.
At the event, MRCA president Datuk Seri Garry Chua was re-elected for a second term based on his achievements and contributions to the retail and franchise industry.
Saifuddin witnessed the swearing-in of Chua and his council members for the new 2018-2020 term.