KUCHING: Retailers are warned against increasing the prices of essential goods in view of the upcoming Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Gawai Dayak festive seasons.

The Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry (KPDNHEP) said the festive season maximum price scheme (SHMMP) will be in effect during the two festive periods.

The Hari Raya Aidilfitri SHMMP will be in effect for fifteen days from May 20 until June 3, while Gawai Dayak SHMMP will be in effect for seven days from May 28 to June 3.

“For Sarawak, the ministry has identified nine products to be under SHMMP for Hari Raya and eleven products for Gawai Dayak.

“All these products are in high demand from the communities who are celebrating the festivals, and thus, the price has to be controlled in order to ensure stable supply in the market,” the ministry said in a statement yesterday.

Among the products under controlled price for Hari Raya are live chicken, fresh whole chicken, imported beef, eggs, coconuts and shredded coconut.

Meanwhile for Gawai Dayak, the controlled items include live chicken, fresh whole chicken, chicken wings, eggs, pork belly, pork meat and live pigs.

“The Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act 2011 will be enforced in order to curb a price hike. Errant traders will be penalised with a RM100,00 fine or three years jail or both or compounded up to RM50,000.

“For companies, they can be fined up to RM500,000 or compounded up to RM250,000,” it said.

A total of 183 enforcement officers will be mobilised to monitor public markets and malls statewide to ensure traders do not sell the essential goods exceeding the maximum price set.

“Sellers are urged to adhere to the rules and practise ethical behaviour in doing business. Manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers are also reminded not to increase the prices of goods after the expiry of the scheme,” the Ministry said.