Consumerist: Corruption & Cartels And Monopolies – The Real Reasons For Prices Rocketing!

Dato Jacob George

‘I think before training one’s guns, we should be fair on consumer movements, whose leaders at least the ones, who have been there from the 70’s, consistent, articulate, serving with dedication, commitment and without funding like CASSA, unlike recently sprouting ones corrupt, double speak, with fancy names, racists and having huge findings for political gimmicks and consumer treachery rather than substance!

We should be fair and honest of our failings as policy makers and not try to scapegoat consumer groups who from old have served with distinction!”

Consumerist: Corruption & Cartels And Monopolies – The Real Reasons For Prices Rocketing!

A dear friend – a leading Surgeon in Malaysia shared with me how the milk packet of 220 has shrink to 200 but the prices remain the same!

His favorite biscuits from 7 pieces is now 5 pieces – price the same!

I wonder how many have noticed that they are served smaller cups for their favorite “Teh Tarik” or smaller versions of “Roti Canai” but the price remaining the same or more by 20 cents?

Hoi, my favorite Char Koay Teow and Mee Rebus gone up also lo!

Sounds familiar?

Shockingly from decades when fuel or raw material prices go up everything goes up in correspondence and without rational!

Inexplicably, when fuel prices come down, everything that went up still stays “up”.

I agree that fuel is just one component of the overall price index – say 10% but should we not see some downward fluctuations?

So who is to blame for this?

I was abroad on work if not I would have gone to town with superlatives of “four letter words” – even in Hockein (gua Penang mari maa!) when a former cabinet minister accused consumer groups for this unfair practice!

This former “Cow controversy Minister” is stupid!

You blame us consumer groups? Really?

We are the ones making and monitoring policies, we are the ones in knee jerk reactions setting up commissions after commissions filling them up with incompetent and self-life overdue individuals or worst the recycled ones to head – pay them huge allowances, fancy titles and the perks that go with it?

Really, we are the ones – not feared by errant traders, and we are the ones who must re-establish efficiency – to tackle issues that affect consumers such as unscrupulous traders who refuse to bring down prices despite the decline in oil prices.

These claims show just how stupid some people are in apparently “high places!”

Let us now address some questions!

Who makes policies and who is expected to monitor policies?

I am advised that the Malaysian External Trade Statistics in December 2014 states that on a year-on-year (y-o-y) basis imports increased RM2.3 billion to RM58.5 billion.

Are we consumer groups to blame for this?

Supplies are shirking at various quarters why are they not increasing creating competition on imports or creating a base to open up unused farm lands for food production?

Imports of consumption goods which accounted for 7.8 per cent of total imports expanded RM199.2 million to RM4.6 billion.

It is our fault too?

What is Malaysia’s long term plan for the agriculture sector because there are still millions of acres of idle land in the country.

We boast of having a Competition Commission and what has been their success stories so far?

I still see huge monopolies which are untouched? Why?

When monopolies exist and perceptions, advertisements and logistics play a role in where a consumer chooses to buy goods whose is to blame for these lacunas?

Consumer groups?

We again boast of the Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act 2011?

Please do tell me because I am stupid, what has been their successes?

I think before training one’s guns on consumer movements, whose leaders at least the ones, who have been there from the 70’s, consistent, articulate, serving with dedication, commitment and without funding unlike recently sprouting ones corrupt, double speak, with fancy names, racists and having huge findings for political gimmicks and consumer treachery rather than substance!

We should be fair and honest of our failings as policy makers and not try to scapegoat consumer groups who from old have served with distinction!

Maybe Najib should create a “Public Policy Ministry” and make me its first minister and let me go to war with the cartels, monopolies and shenanigans of the marketplace!