People are in uproar over the fact that even though the prices of petrol and diesel have decreased, the price of goods on the other hand have not. We at CAP can sympathize; after all we are also consumers and the cost of living has been steadily increasing. It is also frustrating that no one is able give a clear reason as to why the price of goods has not decreased. One thing we know for sure is that it is probably an interplay of many different factors that is keeping the price of goods high.
Some of the factors that could possibly explain why the price of goods has not decreased include:
1. It is a gradual process for the price of goods to decrease. If the price of goods were to suddenly drop, it would indicate that the price of goods in Malaysia is not steady and that our economy is in danger.
2. The state of the Malaysian Ringgit and the fact that most of the goods sold in Malaysia are imported from other countries are also reasons why the price of goods is still high. Take into account that:
a) The Malaysian Ringgit has weakened considerably.
b) We import most of our goods.
c) We pay for goods in US Dollars.
d) The price of goods in the world market has increased.
3. The middle-man syndrome.
Bearing in mind these possible reasons, we would like to suggest a few things to all parties:
a) The public must exercise patience because indignant protestations will get us nowhere. There is a bigger picture here and no one is trying to deliberately make your life more difficult.
b) Those selling goods, be it raw materials or finished products, should not be profiteering.
c) While the government cannot and should not arbitrarily decrease the price of goods, they must call for a meeting with the Chambers of Commerce, Hawkers Association, Restaurants Association and all the relevant Transport Associations and discuss this very crucial issue and come up with viable solutions. This way, manufacturers, retailers, food sellers, etc. can be directed to conduct their trade reasonably, responsibly and ethically.
4. Cut out the middle-man. Especially since in our society it won’t be middle-man but middle-men. In the end the consumer bears the brunt of this unnecessary middle-man syndrome.
On another note, but one that is still very relevant to this issue, is that CAP is of the opinion that Malaysian produce (vegetables, fruits and grains) and livestock (chicken, goats, etc.) should be banned from being exported. Instead of focussing on the commercial profit of exporting these goods we should be focussing on satisfying the local food demand.
CAP believes that if everyone can compromise and work towards reaching some middle ground, then we can survive these trying times and turn it into a win-win situation.
Press release, 18 February 2015