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 Local

Consumer body – apply spirit in consumerism

23rd May, 2018

KOTA KINABALU: Consumers in the state should take a cue from the recently-concluded 14th general election, and muster the same spirit of unity and courage towards developing a stronger consumerism spirit, said Consumers Front of Sabah (CFOS).

“We Malaysians have shown our power as voters; that’s exactly how we as consumers should unite and show our ‘power’. If we adopt the same attitude and put the same effort on consumerism, we can be as powerful as consumers,” said CFOS secretary-general Hashima Hasbullah Yahya alluding to countries like United Kingdom and Sutralia, where governments take consumerism issues seriously.

She noted from her experiences in dealing with consumer issues that consumers in the state were meek and disunited, often allowing albeit unwittingly the unscrupulous traders to get away.

“And that’s especially frustrating for us in CFOS who have been working hard to gather the necessary evidences to act against the traders in question as, the complainants fear that there will be repercussion and were unwilling to proceed to the next course of action,” she lamented.

She said in a statement here while welcoming the recent announcement by the Finance Ministry that the Goods and Services Tax (GST) will be reduced from 6% to 0% beginning next month.

GST, introduced three years ago, has been blamed for the rising cost of living, and is speculated to be one of the factors that contributed to the defeat of the Barisan Nasional government. It raised about RM45 billion in 2017.

“CFOS believe by this adjustment, it will effectively lower prices of goods and services. In our opinion, it may take between 6 months to 1 year to see the positive effect of the adjustment.

“CFOS urges consumers to be more attentive of the prices of goods and services from now onwards. Please take a snapshot of all the displayed price tags of goods displayed at all the shopping malls, supermarkets, retail outlets, restaurants, and hawkers centres that we frequently patronized, for record, so that we can later compare the prices and act accordingly, after the new ruling on GST comes into force on June 1.”

Hashima also assured that CFOS will continue to play its part to carry out random ‘price watch’ throughout the state, and to provide relevant suggestions to the State government, to better safeguard consumer interest. – By MICHAEL TEH

   
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