The national consumer body in Malaysia has appealed to the government and lawmakers to “go to the ground” in order to understand how the Covid-19 pandemic is affecting the people.
The president of the non-government Federation of Malaysian Consumers Associations (Fomca), Mr Marimuthu Nadason, mentioned in a letter to The Star newspaper on Friday (April 3) that, while lawmakers had declared that there were enough goods, “the reality is, even before the MCO (Movement Control Order), for more than two months, in fact, face masks have simply not been available at local pharmacies or other shops”.
He added that “continuous optimistic announcements” had promised reduced prices and yet masks were still not readily available. And the problems were not just about the availability of face masks.
It was the same with the food supply. People “will tell a different story” and “yet we all get are assurances that there is enough food”. Moreover, people would get into trouble with the police if they went beyond 10 km of their homes in search of food. And to make matters worse, a number of retailers had raised their prices, taking advantage of the public’s needs.
With the country under an MCO since March 18, the Fomca chief maintained that consumer organisations were finding it difficult to fulfil the needs of the public because of restricted movement throughout the country. He said that the government should have set up with a consumer hotline so that the people could “air their grievances” through the proper channels. He added that the “unavailability of food and overpriced food are the real concerns of the people”.
He added that his appeal to the government to “get on the ground” was so that lawmakers would truly be able to understand what was really happening on a lower level. That way, the public could be assured that the government was not only taking the proper steps to alleviate these issues but that the policymakers were actually listening. /TISG
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