Your MP's Question of the Week #9

The artificial raising of oil price by the US to protect its dollar, which will soon become banana notes, has caused a worldwide crisis. The worst of which is the looming food crisis and prices are going out of control.

And this in turn has caused the prices of our daily essential goods to rise at an alarming rate. Which is often the result of unfair practices and indiscriminate raising of prices by producers and suppliers right down to the retailer.

The consumer is the one who ultimately pays for all such increases which are usually questionable.

For example, when the price of flour has increased by 20 sen for a kilo, the roti canai or fried mee seller will quickly charge an extra 20 sen for each of these items they sell. Does one roti canai or a plate of fried mee require one kilo of flour to prepare?

There are many instances of such ridiculous price increases for essential items and the rakyat should be protected against such unscrupulous profiteering to control inflation.

Should the government control the increase of prices of essential items at all point-of-sales i.e. the wet and dry markets, pasar malam(s), super and mini markets, sundry shops, restaurants, coffee shops, hawker stalls, etc.?

– Terjemahan oleh Lee Wee Tak – Ucapan ribuan terima kasih dari Wee Choo Keong –

Soalan Mingguan WR Anda #9

Tindakan Amerika Syarikat menaikkan harga minyak bukan berdasarkan keadaan pasaran tetapi hanya untuk mempertahankan nilai dollar-nya, di mana dollar AS akan menjadi mata wnag yang tidak bernilai lagi, telah menyebabkan masalah sedunia. Kesan yang paling teruk adalah harga makanan yang akan terlepas daripada kawalan.

Ini pulang akan menyebabkan harga barang-barang keperluan kami naik dengan kadar yang mencemaskan. Kesan ini kerap disebabkan oleh kenaikan harga yang tidak adil oleh pihak-pihak pengeluar, pembekal dan pemasar.

Penggunalah yang akan menanggung akibat kenaikan harga yang memang boleh dipersoalkn.

Umpamanya, apabila harga tepung nail 20 sen sekilo, penjual roti canai dan mee goring dengan cepat mengenakan harga tambahan 20 sen untuk setiap hidangan yang dijual. Adakah sekeping roti canai atau sepinggang mee memerlukan tepung sekilo?.

Memang banyak contoh kenaikan harga yang tidak munasabah atas barang-barang keperluan dan rakyat patut dilindungi daripada perbuatan mengaut keuntungan yang tidak jujur demi mengawal keadaan kenaikan harga umum, yaitu inflasi.

Patutkah kerajaan mengawal kenaikan harga barangan keperluan harian pada semua detik pertukaran tangan, iaitu di pasar, pasaraya, pasar malam, kedai, warung, kedai kopi, penjaja dsb?

16 comments

  1. Wee Choo Keong, strike the match!The people caused the political tsunami to happen om March 8. No one, not even many of the victorious MPs, believed it could happened before the event. But happened it did!Now, no one may believe a Judiciary Tsunami may happen. But happen it will, if the rakyat wants it to happen. So, do we want it to happen? Do we want a Judiciary Tsunami here now?If so, let us work for it. Let each want of us make our desire known. Write, speak, blog, lobby, do whatever you can!!!!Get your MPs to keep fighting for the Commission’s Recommendations to be implemented

  2. It goes wihtout saying that the government must control the prices of essential goods. But the Sleepy Head has no time for the rakyat he had to take care of his son and SIL. Now that country is not important. What is important is the SIL and Kamaludin Abdullah. We must all tell them go to hell because the copuntry is going to the dogs and your family is doingvery well.Lets tell teh PM go to hell with your SIL for all we call. That monkey had to learn certain fact that he is no longer calling the sholrt.

  3. USD will become US banana leaves, makes me remind of japanese occupation in malaya. after japanese surrender…these notes become banana leaf worthless. government should establish a organization called “Consumer Organization” or “Price Control Organization” in order to control the price strictly.soon our foreign reserve will become banana leaf and government can use it to bungkus nasi lemak and all malaysian will “enjoy” nasi lemak

  4. Of couyrse, the government must control price increase of all essential goods. But this government is more interested in playing politics to help Bodowi, SIL, son and cronies to survive rather than helping the people and country.Bodowi is just useless PM. The eralier he is out as PM the better for Malaysia.

  5. Price control is impossible without supply control. This means that such items should only be sold at hypermarkets, supermarkets & wet market to ensure compliance.Malaysians should also start cooking their own food instead of eating outside all the time.

  6. For example 1 cup of Milo at mamak = RM1.50-RM2.00 per cup. For about RM25, 2kg Milo makes 66 cups of Milo.

  7. Whatever happened to free market principles?Sdr Wee – you should be asking the question as to how long the government can continue to pay out RM50 billion+ ANNUALLY in subsidies and to maintain price caps?And why should Malaysians be “insulated” and “protected” against a globalised world where the market determines the prices of goods, services and commodities?We shout out aloud that Malaysia should drop its blinkers, nationalistic attitude and xenophobia and become part of a globalised world where meritocracy, not race or connections, determines a person’s future.Yet we run away from the flip side of globalisation where the market determines prices. Hence the louder and louder cries for price caps, price controls and subsidies. Never mind that the government runs a permanent budget deficit and the country’s credit ratings go to hell!US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson recently advised against using price controls in that they may do more harm than good. He said that price controls and subsidies are generally not effective and efficient ways of protecting vulnerable groups. In his opinion, price controls and subsidies “tend to create fiscal burdens and economic distortions while often providing aid to higher-income consumers or commercial interests other than the intended beneficiaries”.Paulson’s views are especially relevant to Malaysia.And an erstwhile revolutionary like Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi recently told Singapore Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong that the Libyan government is realising that heavy subsidies were unsustainable in the long run. Gaddafi said that people are not happy and they want more and more (subsidies) and that direct cash transfers are a better way of sharing a country’s wealth with its citizens (as reported in the Singapore ‘Straits Times’).Yet the Malaysian government persists in the asinine folly of paying out public funds for subsidies and fighting against the free market.How stupid is that?

  8. The whole goverment system have to be revamp.There are 2 different catagories of food vendors.1. Normal coffee shop and 24hrs mamak shops2. Air-conditioned restaurants and fast food out lets.I am more concern over the 1st vendors because most of the customers of these group are collage students and poorer class people. The food sellers and mamaks’ are increasing their prices.The question is, are they taking the opportunity to do so?In Kuala Lumpur there are a lot of building and shops development(example in Wangsa Maju Platinium Victory Development Projects).Each new shop building would cos from 700K to 1mil.These shop owners’ would rent their premises from RM5,000 to RM9,000 a month in order to cover for their 85% max bank loan taken.Just imagine how much a food seller or mamak would have to profit a day to cover for their monthly rental. I would suggest that in Wilayah the goverment should build enough food stalls or food courts for each housing scheme area.Then allocate them here.DBKL would collect a minimal rental from them and the DBKL would only be in those area when it comes to cleaning of rubbish.This method would maintain the price,increase of out side food.With this goverment should also stop issuing licience to shops for food operating around the food court and food stall area.For those highly paid rental shopsIt can be rented out only to Fast food Outlet and Air Conditioned Restaurant.

  9. YB, our focus should be on reducing cost of doing business, increasing supply of goods instead of price control. Distortion of the market doesn’t work. It merely encourages inefficiency and corruption.

  10. skilgannon makes some sense too…but for Malaysians who have been subsidized for years…quite scary…will sure impact the poor badly…with oil prices skyrocketing …how much will Petronas make? And how has the 50 billion in subsidies been maintained all this while?The wealthy nations also have their own subsidies in terms of unemployment and welfare benefits, food stamps etc…something we don’t have..and we certainly don’t have good pension plans for our retirees unlike in the US…and most are barely scrapping by…Economics never been my fav subject…I just want my Beras Ponni lah YB!!! No more stock, meh!

  11. I repost the news link[URL=http://www.hmetro.com.my/Current_News/myMetro/Saturday/Setempat/20080517093021/Article/index_html]Harian Metro News[/URL]

  12. Dear YB Wee,Price controls are communist tools. Yes, they may the only tool available in the short term, but in the long run, shortages and market distortions will happen.History is replete with the folly of price controls. Shortages will happen, market distortions begin to appear, and the rakyat suffer more in the longer term.Currently, we are not subsidizing ourselves. We are actually subsidizing the smugglers, profiteers, and the citizens of neighbouring countries. Our tax monies should be better spent.Increase the earning power of the rakyat. Our economy is no longer competitive due to far too many restrictions and red tape. The fact that Maybank’s excuse for investing overseas is because they see no prospects in Malaysia. That tells you a lot about where our economy is headed in the future. Subsidies can only be used in the short term, and will be our downfall in the longer term.

  13. Dear. Mr. Wee,The government must take measures to control the price of essential goods such as rice, flour, sugar, cooking oil,eggs, meat and others.I was sadden by my school canteen caterer who demand and increase of 20 cent for the lunch set. He has asked for increase of 20 cent for mee soup when the price of flour increase. Now, he asked for an increase of 20 cent for lunch set when the price of rice increase. Therefore it is wise for the government to keep an eye on the supply of essential goods. Please forward the matter in the parliment.

  14. As there is rampant smuggling of price controlled goods across Malaysia’s vast coastline & borders, price control may not be possible any more. Smuggling has also been rumored to be assisted by government officers for their cut of profit.Therefore to counter this, a minimum wage is needed and also welfare or workfare for the jobless and odd job worker.

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