The domestic trade, co-operatives and consumerism minister said this in response to a question by Tan Seng Giaw (DAP-Kepong) who asked if the recent rise in the prices of goods were “in the hands of God”.
“God never told anyone to raise prices or reduce it. It is those who do not believe in God who do this.
“Those who believe in God are ethical and would not increase prices as they like.”
Hamzah also questioned Tan’s lack of faith and wondered out aloud if the latter even believed in God.
When met outside the Dewan Rakyat, Hamzah reiterated his stand, stressing that Islam discouraged unethical business practices.
“This is extremely necessary so that there is a balance between the local economy and consumerism. Don’t let consumers feel cheated.
“If traders hike up their costs to the point that consumers no longer frequent them, it is they who will suffer.
“I want traders to be ethical to consumers so that there won’t be questions raised about price hikes,” he said.
The Larut MP also said Tan’s question was “not funny”, and he quoted from the Quran, saying “traders do not work for excess profit and consumers do not get cheated”.