KOTA KINBALU: The Ministry of Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism office here had launched the Ops Catut yesterday in preparation for the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on April 1.
This operation was carried out State-wide in view of the drop in fuel prices on January 1, and the current flood situation in Sabah.
“It is also to take action on unscrupulous traders from taking advantage to increase the prices of goods inconsiderately with the implementation of the GST,” said the Ministry’s deputy enforcement officer Fredeck Kantod.
To date 22,363 inspections has been conducted at various business establishments and booked 58 offenders in which 33 cases for contravening the Price Controls &
Anti Profiteering Act, Trade Descriptions Act (one) and Weights & Measures Act (24) where RM7,062 worth of goods were confiscated and compound from fines amounted to RM2,500, he said during an inspection at Putatan yesterday.
“ Although the ministry did not receive any complaints from the consumers on price hike since early this year, but the enforcement personnel will continue to conduct checks and monitoring at the shopping centres,” he said.
“This continuous efforts is aimed at protecting consumers from being taken advantage of by unethical traders who fail to observe the existing regulations. We want the consumers to know their rights and responsibility.”
He stressed that those caught for committing an offence under the Price Controls & Anti Profiteering Act is liable to be fine up to RM100,000 or jail less than three years or both, or compound until RM50,000.
For company, the fine is up to RM500,000 or compound until RM250,000, he added.
He said those who failed to display the price tag of the goods they sell is liable to be fine up to RM10,000 or compound up to RM5,000 whilst for company the fine is up to RM20,000 and compound up to RM10,000.
He said consumers can lodge their reports at [email protected] or call 088-484500, free toll at 1-800-886-800 or send SMS to 15888 to KPDNKK ADUAN or come to the ministry office.- By Bosco Wong/Sayangsabah