Chong (right) inspects the price of potatoes at Emart Batu Kawa.

KUCHING: Sixteen items have been placed under the Festive Season Maximum Price Control Scheme by the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry (KPDNHEP) for this coming Chinese New Year, taking effect from yesterday till Feb 2.

KPDNHEP Deputy Minister Chong Chieng Jen said the three additional items under the scheme include red chilies, tomatoes and potatoes imported from China.

“Last year, there were 13 items under the scheme. This year, there are 16 including chicken, eggs, vegetables, dried foods, seafood and pork,” he said in a press conference after launching the Festive Season Maximum Price Control Scheme at Emart Batu Kawa, yesterday.

He said the scheme period has also been extended to 14 days compared to last year when it was for only 10 days.

“Traders can sell their goods for less than the set prices, but they are not allowed to sell beyond the maximum prices or they’ll be fined,” he said.

He said of the items on the list, some sold at Emart supermarket were at much lower prices than the maximum allowed.

“Not all outlets sell at lower prices because it depends on several factors. Sometimes items traders get from wholesalers are offer at much lower prices,” he said.

Therefore, he urged traders to give their full cooperation to the ministry and adhere to the scheme under the Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act 2011 in order to protect consumers during this Chinese New Year.

“So far the traders have been cooperating very well. During our operations throughout the country last year, only 0.001 per cent of them did not comply with the rules. “They did not increase the prices above the maximum, but they did not display the pink price tags which are meant for the controlled items,” he said.

Chong reminded traders to always place the pink price tags whenever they sell items listed under the scheme.

“More than 3,000 officers will be involved in the enforcement operations to monitor the prices of the listed items across the country,” he said.

The 16 items under the scheme are live chicken, standard chicken, super chicken, Grade A eggs, Grade B eggs, Grade C eggs, round cabbage imported from Indonesia and China, red chillies, tomatoes, potato imported from China, garlic imported from China, White Pomfret, large white prawn, live pigs, pork belly and pork meat.

Those found selling the items above the maximum prices will be fined up to RM100,000 or imprisonment not exceeding three years or to both, or a fine of up to RM50,000 for individual offences.

Companies committing similar offences can be fined up to RM500,000 or compounded up to RM250,000.

Individuals who fail to display the pink price tags on controlled goods can be fined up to RM10,000 or compounded up to RM5,000, while companies can be fined from RM20,000 up to RM10,000.

Consumers can channel their complaints to the ministry via email at e-aduan@kpdnhep.gov.my or call 1800-886-800, smart phone application Ez ADU, Enforcement Command Centre (ECC) at 03-8882-6245/6088, Malaysian Government Call Centre (MYGCC) at 03-8000-8000, WhatsApp to 019-2794317 or report to any of the 73 ministry’s office throughout the country.

Chong (right) inspects the price of potatoes at Emart Batu Kawa.