Consumers fleeced by inaccurate weighing scales

Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) urges the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Cost of Living to conduct checks and take action against wet market traders using inaccurate mechanical weighing scales (with dial indicators on both sides of the machine) to short-weigh consumers.

Our recent survey at all the wet markets in Penang showed that some of the weighing scales have their calibration stickers displayed away from the consumers. In fact, the calibration should be seen by consumers so that they are assured of the accuracy of the weighing scale and if it is fit for use in business.

Besides the calibration sticker issue, we also found that the weighing scales used by most traders are less than satisfactory as the indicator of the dial does not start from “0” (zero) and sometimes the dirty transparent plastic dial makes the reading of the dial difficult.

Traders should send their weighing scales for recalibration annually under the Weights and Measures Act 1972. The Ministry should seriously consider printing the year of calibration in large bold fonts on the calibration sticker for easy reading by the consumers.

They should also be reminded that the side of the weighing scale with the calibration sticker should be clearly displayed, facing the consumers.

The Ministry should also ensure that every market has two weighing scales (one of which is meant for halal items) for consumers to verify the weight of their goods if they have any doubts. Numbers to contacts should also be provided at where the weighing scales are so that consumers can call if they have any complaints such as short-weight, price hike of essential items or unhealthy business practices.



Mohideen Abdul Kader
ConsumersAssociation of Penang (CAP)

Press Statement, 16 March 2023