Malaysians turn to social media to express sentiments on price hikes

Some made comparisons between the prices of goods and oil, with another citing supply-chain issues

by HARIZAH KAMEL/ pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

ALTHOUGH supply and demand determine the price of certain items, some Malaysians have experienced price hikes on essential goods and taken to social media to express their grouses.

On Twitter, users are saying that they have noticed rising prices of goods when they go for their grocery rounds.

One user using the handle @haiqqal made comparisons between the prices of goods and oil.

“Notice that when oil prices went up, the prices of goods would go up, too. Now that oil prices have been down for five weeks straight, have any prices of goods dropped?” he tweeted.

To make sense of the price hike, Twitter account by the username @adariff explained to his followers about supply-chain problems.

“Egg prices go up. Chicken prices are down. The original theory still applies. Raw materials are damaged quickly (vegetables, fruits, poultry, fish) and prices fall. Everything else, prices go up. Supply-chain problems,” he said.

The same can be said on Facebook, where some people have written long posts about the impact of prolonged the Movement Control Order (MCO) on prices of goods.

Facebook user Shurein MV said he already expected the MCO to be extended as the number of positive Covid-19 cases in Malaysia has not been slowing down.

He added that the country is undergoing the worst economic downturn so far and urging people to be ready to face it.

“All prices will go up. The cost of living will rise. Hopefully, we are strong enough. Save your savings,” he said.

Another Facebook user by the name of Izu Nur Rahmah said in her post that she does not want to spook anyone, but preparations must be made for Phase 3 of the MCO as it will be more severe.

In her post, she listed several points including the likelihood of shortage in daily supplies and that prices will increase dramatically.

She also said as Ramadhan is approaching, people should start saving food and eat what is available instead of fighting over Gardenia bread and foods with short expiry dates.

Some of the comments she received on her post are from those who advised her to not create panic among the general public.

However, the authorities have seen some individuals trying to make a profit from the pandemic.

Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the government will impose a maximum price control scheme on essential items throughout Phase 3 of the MCO.

The measure is to prevent the probability of overcharging by injudicious groups during the extended MCO starting tomorrow and while it is usually done during festive seasons, Ismail Sabri said there is no need to wait.

He said the list of controlled items will be announced by the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry soon.

He added that the availability of 25 essential items in the market including face masks and hand sanitisers was enough.

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