NGO urges ministry to monitor price hikes

George Young Si Ricord Jr

KUCHING: In view of the coming Aidilfitri and Gawai celebrations, Habitat for Indigenous and Urban Programme (Hidup) is urging the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry (KPDNHEP) to ensure that businesses do not simply increase the prices of goods.

Hidup president George Young Si Ricord Jr, in a statement on Tuesday (May 4), said Sarawak KPDNHEP need to monitor shops, farmers markets and other places that sell items under the price control scheme to ensure that businesses do not take advantage of consumers.

“Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, these festivals will be celebrated but without the traditional house-to-house visiting.

“There is a concern that irresponsible businesses could take the opportunity to increase prices. This will impact consumers, especially those in rural areas.

“As a member of a non-governmental organisation (NGO), I’m appealing to Sarawak KPDNHEP to monitor and inspect businesses to ensure that this does not happen.

“Monitoring and inspection must be conducted regularly. It should done promptly until the festive celebration.

“Such action will safeguard the interests of both parties – the sellers, so that they can make equal profit among themselves, and the consumers, so that their income would be sufficient despite the ongoing pandemic.”