In Penang, authorities say RM937 for three durians reasonable as sellers fined for confusing price tags

Chin said the prices for the three durians were found to be reasonable after scrutinising the documents and costs related to the sale of the durians. — Picture by KE Ooi
Chin said the prices for the three durians were found to be reasonable after scrutinising the documents and costs related to the sale of the durians. — Picture by KE Ooi

GEORGE TOWN, July 23 — The Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry (KPDNKK) found no elements of profiteering in the case of a woman who had paid RM937 for two Black Thorn and one Musang King durian.

Penang KPDNKK deputy director Chin Ching Chung said the prices for the three durians were found to be reasonable without any profiteering after the enforcement team scrutinised the documents and costs related to the sale of the durians.

“When we first received a complaint that the durian stall sold three durians — two Black Thorn and one D200 — for almost RM1,000, our enforcement team went to investigate the stall,” he said in a press conference at the KPDNKK office here.

He said KPDNKK had issued a notice to the stall owners — operated by two men — and requested that they furnish the sales invoice, the sales record and business accounts to assist in investigations into the complaint.

“The two owners cooperated and furnished all the required documents and after looking through the documents, we find that the durians were sold at a reasonable price with no elements of profiteering,” he said.

However, a probe into the stall revealed that the stall had used confusing signages on the prices of the durians sold.

“First, the signages were written in Chinese when it should be in Malay,”

“Secondly, the Black Thorn durians were priced at between RM65 and RM95 per kilogram which is confusing as it did not state clearly the actual price for the durians,” he said.

He said this method of pricing could confuse consumers and be manipulated by the stall owners to overcharge consumers.

The two stall owners, a 42-year-old and a 52-year-old, were issued two compounds of RM1,000 each for two offences with regards to the price tag of the durians.

“They were ordered to change the price list to Malay and to display the prices clearly so as not to confuse consumers,” he said.

In June, a woman took to social media to complain that she was charged close to RM1,000 for two Black Thorns and one Musang King durian after she asked for the “biggest and tastiest” durians.

Chin said throughout the durian season in Penang, KPDNKK has issued 10 compounds of about RM1,500 to durian stall owners.

Seven of the compounds were for expired weighing scales while three others were for not displaying price lists on the durians.

Chin said the enforcement team will continue to conduct regular checks on all durian sellers to ensure that they adhere to the law and do not overcharge consumers.

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