KUALA LUMPUR: The government is investigating the underlying cause of rising prices of basic necessities in the country.
Referring to the sugar prices as an example, Minister of Finance Lim Guan Eng said that the product was on the market with RM1.40 per kilogram (kg) on the international market, but that it was sold in RM2.90 per kg in Malaysia.
"This is a structural and monopoly problem that does not benefit people.
"They just want to take advantage and use their monopoly to maintain prices," he said in response to a supplementary question from Senator Datuk Seri Khairudin Samad at the Dewan Negara here today.
Lim said the results of the sugar price survey would be announced by the Ministry of Internal Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP).
In addition to the structural and monopoly problems, he said that the balance between supply and demand was one of the factors that ensured that prices remained the same, even with the zero rate of goods and services tax (GST) on 1 June.
"In line with the Government's goal of reducing the cost of living and stopping irresponsible parties from gaining profit, KPDNHEP will focus on curbing rising prices through various price controls," he said.
Lim said the measures include enforcing the Price Control and Antivision Act 2011 through the Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Regulations (Mechanism for Unreasonably High Profit for Good Determination) 2016 and the Anti-Profiteering Operations (Ops CATUT).
"We are also talking to consumer associations and government agencies and will continue to enforce regulations for businesses across the country," he added. – Bernama