|GERAKAN REFORMASI RAKYAT|
Statement by Dr Tan Seng Giaw, DAP National Vice-Chairman and MP for Kepong on the soaring of prices between 10 to 40% in the past week. 9.10.2000
Call On The Malaysian Government To Increase Its Efforts To Stop Profiteering following the increase in petrol price since 1st October 2000. It Must Improve The Price Monitoring Mechanism.
We are worried about inflation. This is inevitable after the Malaysian Cabinet approves the 10% increase in petrol price on 1st October, 2000. The spiraling effects occur: transport cost goes up, and Liquefied Petroleum Gas soars by 10 sen a kilogramme.
Visiting markets and shops, I notice prices of many goods have gone up. The media report of prices of goods increasing by 10 to 40 % is not surprising. What is the Government doing?
Since the Cabinet lets petrol price go up by 10%, the Prime Minister Dato' Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his deputy Dato' Seri Abdullah Badawi have warned against profiteering. The Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs says that it is going to improve enforcement.
Now, the Government must show that its monitoring of factories, wholesalers and retailers is effective in ensuring that consumers are not cheated. Whatever the Cabinet decisions, we expect better enforcement.
As the price of petrol is RM1.20 a litre in Malaysia whereas it is RM1.75 in Thailand, there is smuggling. Hence, the Government must double its efforts to curb hoarding and smuggling.
As Malaysia presents the Vision Development Policy, we need credible measures against inflation. This policy envisages Malaysia as a developed nation. A developed nation means that there is scarcely any inflation. However, the current spate of increase in prices tests the ability of the Government to handle inflation. Let us hope that it can deal adequately with profiteers.
While we are waiting for better monitoring of prices by the Government, we urge consumers to be on the look out for unfair increase in prices. Whether it is controlled items or otherwise, we have to put a stop to profiteering.
As I have said previously, I shall present a motion to debate inflation in Malaysian Parliament. I call on all Members of Parliament to support the motion.
- Dr Tan Seng Giaw -