Yes, keep receipts to fight profiteering, say retailers

PETALING JAYA: Retailers have welcomed the call for consumers to keep receipts of purchases to detect any unfair price hikes after the sales and services tax (SST) is introduced on Sept 1.

Ameer Ali Mydin

Speaking to FMT, Ameer Ali Mydin, the managing director of hypermarket chain Mydin, even suggested that consumers go to retail outlets to note down current prices of goods and compare them after the SST comes into force.

“Please go to Mydin and take pictures to compare. We will only increase prices if our suppliers raise theirs,” he said, adding that it was “good discipline” for consumers to keep receipts to track price variations.

He said this was because many complaints of price increases were based on perception instead of fact, as shoppers sometimes compared current prices with promotional or discounted prices.

The idea of keeping receipts was mooted by the Consumers Association of Penang and supported by Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail.

“I hope consumers will take up the suggestion and, hopefully, reduce unnecessary complaints of price hikes,” he said.

He explained that the process of investigating complaints of profiteering was tedious because the authorities would have to seek proof – in the form of suppliers’ invoices – from retailers that they weren’t raising prices unfairly.

Ameer said if the authorities found that a retailer’s supplier was unfairly increasing prices, they would seek an explanation from the supplier before moving up the supply chain.

Malaysian Retailers Association (MRA) president James Loke said it was good for consumers to keep receipts as, after Sept 1, the prices of some goods would definitely rise.

“Enforcement can help control profiteering, but there is still a lot of uncertainty as to what is exempted, what is taxable at 5% and 10%, although Sept 1 is just around the corner,” said Loke, whose MRA has some 450 members.

Loke also said the focus shouldn’t be on retailers as they were at the end of the supply chain, adding that prices quoted by manufacturers and importers and the services sector should also be scrutinised to fight profiteering.