Malaysian retailers are joining a government campaign to cut the retail price of some 82,000 goods by as much as 70 per cent.
The program is being introduced just weeks before Malaysia introduces GST on April 1
Major grocery retailers Tesco, Giant, Aeon and The Store have all voluntarily joined the program which was formally launched last weekend. They’ll discount food items, clothing and other daily necessities. Smaller chains, Mydin, Milimewa Supermarket & Department Store, TF Value Mart, UO Superstore and Econsave Cash & Carry have also signed on.
Malaysia’s domestic trade, co-operatives and consumerism minister Datuk Seri Hasan Malek said the the launch ceremony that his government “is always sensitive about the rising costs of living,” in what can only be interpreted as a reference to the looming arrival of GST.
“That is why we have taken the initiative to launch this campaign with the cooperation of supermarkets and hypermarkets nationwide. We can do this after engaging with manufacturers, wholesalers, suppliers, traders, associations and NGOs.”
The campaign has no end date and the government will not be monitoring retailers’ compliance with their price reductions. But it will be ensuring quality standards on discounted goods do not fall.
“We practise an open economy,” said Datuk Seri Hasan Malek. “So, the job of tackling the rising costs of living is not easy. However, the government believes that the situation can still be controlled with everyone’s co-operation, so that the effect on the public can be minimised.”
Terengganu State speaker Datuk Mohd Zubir Embong said retailer participation is voluntary.
“There is no subsidy or incentive from the Federal Government to take part and it is up to the supermarket owners themselves…. We hope that more will come forward and participate.”