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Shahrir: Proposed fair price practice act to curb monopoly

KUALA LUMPUR, 19 Aug 2008: Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad said the government has plans to formulate an act on fair price practice to prevent monopoly by manufacturers.

He said the act would be aimed at ensuring fair price, competitiveness and effectiveness of marketing so that traders could engage in healthy competition while consumers get quality products at fair price.

“The ministry is seeking views from various industry sectors, government agencies and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), aimed at strengthening the proposed act,” he said in reply to a question by Zuraida Kamaruddin (PKR-Ampang), who wanted to know whether Malaysia had anti-monopoly laws.

Shahrir told Dewan Rakyat that he expected the act to be approved by parliament in early 2009.

He said the government was not delaying the act, but it needed to be studied so as to put Malaysia in a suitable business environment.

“We had planned to bring it to parliament by year end, but it is not possible due to the various views and discussions that will take some time.”

The minister said manufacturers caught in monopoly activities could be charged under the Trade Descriptions Act 1972 and the Consumer Protection Act 1999.

In addition, the Supply Control Act 1961 could be used to ensure that essential goods reach retailers to ensure adequate supply.

“Although manufacturers may monopolise the market, the government can invoke the act to control production and distribution of goods for the benefit of consumers,” Shahrir said. – Bernama

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