Embrace new norm to offset price hike


By Nura Valentiana Lorna & Neville Timothy Sanders

KUCHING: When the price of goods go up, consumers should be prepared to adapt and move forward in order to ensure their long-term survival.

Echoing this sentiment, Consumer Voice Association of Sarawak (COVAS) said the dissolution of subsidies for necessities should have been anticipated.

Its president Michael Tiong said subsidy abolished for one material or a product in a supply chain would definitely cause a price increase although it is just one of the ingredients.

“The abolishment of subsidy for cooking oil, other materials and products should have been foreseen a decade ago and even after the movement control order had ended.

“When this eventuates, consumers should not be worried or engage in panic buying as supply is sufficient for the community.

“From the abolishment, although not all, the government could use the savings for other sectors that require critical attention,” he told New Sarawak Tribune on Wednesday.

He was alluding to the recent announcement by federal Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP) Minister Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi on Tuesday (June 21) saying that Malaysia would abolish subsidies for certain cooking oil products from July 1.

Tiong said demand and supply were the core deciding factors in the supply chain.

“Logistic cost and among other contributing factors like petrol, utilities, weather and country policies will affect the price upward or downward not only for raw products but also for semi-finished products.

“Given the indication that price might increase as a result from the abolishment, consumers should know which of their daily consumption will be affected and how they embrace the attitude of new norm on spending, saving and sustaining the cost of living.

“They must be responsible in their life and cannot put blame on traders or the government for the price increase, which is out of their control.”

By adopting this new norm, he said consumers might discover alternative food or even beverage in response to the reset of daily living cost and standard of living.

“Consumers could opt for alternative which may contain the same quality content and benefits.

“A penny saved is a penny earned.

“Consumers could opt for alternative simple living, simple life, daily low-cost spending, plant own vegetables, generate own electricity, go for cost effective diet, reduce food wastage, use public transport where possible and many more initiatives that could reduce living cost to the most acceptable level.”

He asserted that “consumers are the backbone of any country.

“When ad hoc crises arise be it temporal or long term, it is pivotal that every point of the economic sector and consumerism blend together with the aim to maintain the country’s sustainability and survival.”

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