Malaysian retailers told to display clear price tags or face penalty

PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia - Local traders and retailers have six months to display clear and correct price tags of their goods or risk facing action, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said.

Launched yesterday, the Price Tagging Compliance Operation will be carried out until July to prevent profiteering and ensure business operators act responsibly.

"The government remains committed to ensuring traders do not take advantage of the rising cost of goods to cheat consumers.

"We want businesses to prosper and profit, which will improve the country's image, but we will not tolerate any attempt by traders to profiteer by breaching business regulations," he said after conducting price checks at the Presint 8 market here yesterday.

Muhyiddin said the government would continue monitoring attempts by irresponsible businessmen to manipulate the cost of goods and services via anti-competitive activities, like monopolies and cartels.

He said the government had taken measures to control the prices of essential goods, such as RON95 petrol, diesel, wheat flour and cooking oil.

"We are the only government in the world to have extensive programmes to cater to the welfare of the people. Recently, the government set up a special committee to address the rising cost of living. No other government has done this," said Muhyiddin, who is also chairman of a special cabinet committee to address the rising cost of living.

Muhyiddin also launched the Pricing Guidelines for Retailers, which lists out traders' responsibilities and ways to correctly display price tags.

Present were Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Hasan Malek, his deputy Datuk Ahmad Bashah Md Hanipah and Deputy Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Halimah Mohamed Sadique.

Muhyiddin said the correct display of price tags would benefit traders and consumers alike.

"Correct price tagging will allow consumers to easily make price comparisons before buying goods or services and, on the other hand, traders who display their price tags clearly will attract more customers."

Muhyiddin said the government found that the failure to display clear price tags was a factor for price hikes.

"During my surprise visits, I found some traders and retailers did not adhere to regulations and guidelines in displaying price tags."