Urge the Minister of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Datuk Hasan Malek to review the maximum price set for the masks immediately
I have filed an emergency motion on haze in parliament yesterday morning. I was told that my motion was the first of yesterday. Nevertheless, it came to my knowledge later that Ayer Hitam Member of Parliament Datuk Ir. Dr. Wee Ka Siong has also filed a similar motion to the House.
It is uncommon for Members of Parliament from Barison Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat to think alike. However it only shows one thing, ie the current haze crisis is indeed a define matter of urgency and of public importance, the 3 criteria set under Standing Order 18(2) for an emergency motion to be allowed. As such, I see no reason why the speaker should not allow the motion and I am looking forward to a healthy and constructive debate tomorrow as to how we can handle the haze crisis better.
At the same time, the BN government has again failed to uphold its promise to ensure that there is no price hike for face masks.
N95 masks used to be sold at RM50 to RM80 for 20 piece/box. However, I was told that N95 masks are being sold at RM180/box at some places now. If BN government is not able to provide free N95 masks to the poor and needy, like what Singapore Government has done, it should at least make sure that there is no price hike at this critical period!
As a matter of fact, face mask is a controlled item under the Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act 2011 and the Supply Control Act 1961 since August 26, 2009. However, the maximum retail price set by Ministry of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism is allowing profiteering.
For example for the maximum retail price for the three-ply mask (ear & head loop) is set at 80 sen per unit and maximum wholesale price of RM25 per box (50 pieces). However the price for such surgical mask before the haze crisis was only 40 sen per piece or RM10 per box (50 pieces).
As for N95 face mask, the maximum price set by Ministry of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism is RM6 each while the maximum wholesale price is fixed at RM100 for one box of 20 pieces. However general public could purchase the mask at RM3 per piece or RM50 per box before this.
I urge the Minister of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Datuk Hasan Malek to review the maximum price set for the masks immediately so that 8 million people in Malaysia who have already been exposed to very unhealthy air won’t be slaughtered by unethical businessmen. At the same time, a complaint hotline should be set up immediately for the general public to call and lodge complaint when they come across any price hike for face masks.