KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 17 — Claiming today that “1 Malaysia” goods are pricier than others, a DAP federal lawmaker asked if minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob plans on proposing a boycott of products bearing the government brand.
Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng said he had compared prices between a range of goods at a Kedai Rakyat 1 Malaysia (KR1M) store on Jalan Raja Laut with a Tesco in Jalan Kuching and found the former more expensive.
“KR1M has defeated its purpose,” he said, pointing out that KR1M, which is meant to provide cheaper goods for low-income workers, has been charging higher prices instead.
In light of this, “Will (Ismail Sabri) call on the rakyat to boycott KR1M?” Lim asked, and told the agriculture and agro-based industries minister to respond within 24 hours.
“On our part,” Lim continued, “DAP won’t call on anyone to boycott anyone. But we have to be wise consumers.”
Lim sent photos to the Malay Mail Online illustrating the apparent price discrepancy.
One photo showed a bottle of a 1-litre bottle of bleach priced at RM1.29 at Tesco, but at RM2.60 at the KR1M.
Another showed 1 litre bottle of dishwashing liquid priced at RM1.99 at Tesco, but at RM2.90 at the KR1M.
A 700-gram bottle of Nestle strawberry yoghurt drink is shown to be RM4.79 at Tesco, but RM5.20 at KR1M.
Two weeks ago, Ismail Sabri sparked a firestorm of protest over his Facebook post urging Malay consumers to boycott allegedly profiteering Chinese businesses.
The agriculture and agro-based industries minister added that the high price of goods, despite the dip in fuel costs, was a form of sabotage aimed at stirring public dissent against the government.
Ismail Sabri later said he was not directing his words at the Chinese community, but merely to unscrupulous Chinese businesses that have been indiscriminately raising their prices and keeping costs high.
The minister has since deleted the Facebook post, and Putrajaya issued a statement to “clarify” that the minister was referring to all unscrupulous traders and not only to those of Chinese descent.
KR1M was established as part of a government initiative to address the increasing cost of living among poorer urban residents.
According to its official website, KRIM stores are “based on a mini-market format” and “provide various basic necessities at low prices in convenient urban locations.”