Prices of goods up due to SST, says Sabah Umno

Jainab Ahmad Ayid, Sabah’s former community development and consumer affairs minister.

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah’s Wanita Umno wing views seriously the rise in prices of goods after the re-implementation of the sales and services tax (SST) by the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government which has burdened the people.

Its chief, Jainab Ahmad Ayid, said they received many complaints from people at the grassroots level on the rise in prices of goods after the SST was implemented.

“Based on monitoring and also complaints received by Wanita Umno throughout Sabah, SST has caused prices of goods to go up.

“Obviously, the sales tax rate of 10% under the SST has resulted in the rise of prices of goods in grocery stores and shopping malls,” she said in a statement today.

Jainab, who was also the state’s former community development and consumer affairs minister, said this rise in prices of goods is a burden on the people, especially the low-income group in rural areas.

According to her, the enforcement of 6% service charge has also resulted in a drastic increase in prices of food and drinks in restaurants.

Jainab said the rise in prices of goods did not go well with the PH government’s objectives and manifesto which aimed to reduce the cost of living by abolishing the goods and services tax (GST) after it took over from Barisan Nasional (BN).

At the same time, she urged the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry’s (KPDNHEP) enforcement unit to intensify inspections on traders who have taken advantage by raising the prices of goods.

She said stern action should be taken against traders who use all sorts of excuses to raise prices of goods.

“This includes monitoring the whole supply chain and giving exemptions to appropriate types of goods.”

Jainab stressed KPDNHEP should find a way to prevent traders from raising prices of goods as they like.

“The decline in value of the ringgit has also caused prices of imported essential goods to go up, but this is not an excuse for traders to take advantage and make excessive profits,” she stressed.

She said although the Sabah KPDNHEP had stated prices were stable after the implementation of SST, this was based on a lack of complaints.

Jainab said consumers in rural areas were not keen to report on the rise in prices of goods to KPDNHEP.

“As citizens, we need to be on the alert for opportunist traders,” she stressed.