KUALA LUMPUR, July 23 — The wholesale and retail ceiling prices of face masks will be reduced beginning August 15, the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry announced today.
Minister Datuk Alexander Nanta Linggi said this in his Parliament in reply to a supplementary question by Datuk Sri Rohani Abdul Karim (Batang Lupar-GPS) on the rationale of the new price announcement by Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba last week.
“In actuality, we have planned to reduce the ceiling prices beginning August 15.
“The wholesale and retail ceiling prices of face masks will be reduced to RM1.15 and RM1.20 respectively starting August 15, from the current RM1.45 and RM1.50 respectively,” he told the Dewan Rakyat.
Nanta explained that the rationale followed Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s announcement on the government’s move to consider making face masks mandatory in public places in order to curb the spread of Covid-19.
In view of the federal government’s proposal, he also assured the Dewan Rakyat that there was sufficient supply of face masks in the market.
“This includes those imported. On the issue of supply, no problem [with that]. They can also be purchased online. The government is concerned and sensitive towards the latest development of Covid-19.
“We will continue to study the need to reduce the price of face masks and to ensure supplies are adequate,” he added.
Earlier in a question to Tengku Zulpuri Shah Raja Puji (Raub-PH) on various measures taken by the government to control the prices of face masks, Nanta said strict daily enforcement and checks have been conducted since January 29.
“From January 29 to July 22, 42,901 premises had been inspected to monitor the price of face masks in the market and compounds amounting to over RM392,400 were issued to 55 businesses,” he said.
The ministry also took action against a private hospital under Section 11 of the Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act 2011 for selling three-ply face masks exceeding the price ceiling set by the government.
A fine of RM200,000 was imposed on the hospital, Nanta added.
He also said the ministry was also monitoring the price of personal protective equipment due to increased demand in the market and a total of 455 premises were proactively inspected in this regard since June 17.