PETALING JAYA: Mydin Mohamed Holdings Bhd (Mydin) has refused to comment on any allegations the government has made regarding the 1Malaysia People’s Shop (KR1M).
This follows Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s order for the domestic trade, cooperatives and consumerism ministry to end the contract of the operator of the KR1M, saying they were found to sell goods higher than the market price.
Refusing to name the company, Zahid, who is home minister, said the government did not want the company to operate and supply products to KR1M any more because it had low-quality packaging and distribution but sold the goods at high prices.
“They were given a chance. I don’t want to name the company.
“I myself went to KR1M because I gave them the opportunity to open an outlet with low rental under the Bagan Datoh Umno division (office),” said the Umno MP for Bagan Datoh.
“I allowed the shop to be set up to help the people in my constituency.
“But it became clear that the prices were more expensive even though the government had specific allocations for the company to sell at below-market prices,” he said when officiating the Kuala Langat Umno meeting at Kuala Langat yesterday.
In a statement issued today, Mydin managing director Ameer Ali Mydin said commenting on the government’s allegations would serve no real purpose.
He said, however, that as far as Mydin was concerned, its “conscience was clear”.
“Much has been said on the failure of the operations of KR1M.
“I shall not comment on any allegations made by the government as it will get us nowhere,” he said.
“I would only like to say that this has been a massive loss-making CSR (corporate social responsibility) project for Mydin and we have done this for the benefit of the Malaysian rakyat.
“Our conscience is clear. Those who know me would know what Mydin had to endure in running this CSR project.
“I need not say more.”
Opposition politicians had been critical of Mydin being appointed as the operator for KR1M in the past.
In 2012, Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua accused the Najib government of enriching Mydin through subsidies purportedly aimed at standardising consumer goods’ prices in the KR1M stores.
He said Mydin, as operator of the stores in East Malaysia and Peninsular Malaysia, would enjoy RM87 million in subsidies to open up 57 outlets, a move that could wipe out competition there.
More recently, Malay Mail Online had quoted DAP MP Lim Lip Eng in February as insisting that the government’s “1 Malaysia” goods were more expensive than other brands, dismissing Ameer’s denial.
The Segambut MP even posed a challenge to Ameer, to prove how many products under the “1 Malaysia” brand were cheaper than those sold at other chains.