KUALA LUMPUR, March 26 — The government, through the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry (KPDNHEP), wants to nurture a new generation of smart consumers and ethical traders, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said. 

He said in this regard, various consumerism programmes will be formulated by Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry to empower consumers, particularly in the aspects of financial literacy, purchasing decisions and compensation. 

“I hope all parties can appreciate and practise your rights as consumers in conducting your daily transactions,” he said when officiating at the National Consumer Day Celebration 2022 here today.

Also present was Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi.

Ismail Sabri also advised consumers not to be easily hoodwinked by tricks and scams used by unethical traders.

He said from the total number of complaints received by the ministry as of the end of last month, 36.45 per cent, or 24,150 complaints were related to online transactions. 

The prime minister said this was following the implementation of the movement control order in March 2020 during which more online purchases and transactions were done. 

“This indicates that a large number of consumers are aware and understand their rights by channelling their complaints when there is misconduct by traders,” he said.

In view of this, Ismail Sabri said to empower the digital consumer, the government has developed the ezAdu smartphone application as another consumer complaint platform, in turn further strengthening consumer protection initiatives. 

He said the application that was developed in 2015 had undergone improvements last year to ensure complainants can immediately channel issues through their smartphones. 

Meanwhile, Ismail Sabri advised consumers to check all necessary details before making online purchases to prevent them from being cheated. 

He also advised consumers to obtain information from KPDNHEP officers prior to going ahead with their purchases if they are hesitant or unsure. 

“Ensure each transaction comes with proof and documentation such as receipts, invoices or agreements to facilitate investigation and further action. 

“Get information on the functions and roles of the ministry and operations implemented through its official website, Facebook, Twitter and pamphlets as a guide,” he added. — Bernama