Prices to go up 10% next month

The Star

Monday June 9, 2008

IPOH: Consumers can expect the prices of many essential items to increase by as much as 10% next month.

Federation of Sundry Goods Merchant Associations of Malaysia president Lean Hing Chuan said sundry store owners have no choice but to raise the prices of goods not controlled by ceiling prices to survive the impact of the fuel price hike.

Lean said canned food and other items with plastic packaging were likely to be sold at a higher price but declined to disclose the actual list of goods.

“Goods transported long distance by lorries are also expected to increase by at least 10%,” he said yesterday after the 87th anniversary luncheon of the Perak Sundry Shops Guild.

Earlier in his speech, Lean urged the Government to open up more vacant land for cultivation and start measures for rice-producing states like Kedah to improve rice production per hectare.

He also expressed doubt about the effectiveness of the government’s move to place colour stickers on rice sacks enabling consumers to differentiate between price-controlled rice and imported rice.

Perak Sundry Shops Guild chairman Lee Kim Seng urged the state government to set up an air-conditioned “retailing centre” for shop owners to set up their business.

He suggested the lots be rented out cheaply to business owners of all races.

“It will be a place where you can find Chinese medicine, pharmacies, hardware, clothes, shoes and other goods all in one place,” he said.

Perak Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Datuk Lim Kok Cheong reminded members that inflation may be inevitable but it was no reason to close down their businesses.

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