Manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers were appealed not to take advantage of the Wuhan coronavirus crisis to increase the prices of face masks and hand sanitizer products for extra profit. —Chong

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Press Statement by Chong Chieng Jen:

I appeal to manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers not to take advantage of the Wuhan coronavirus crisis to increase the prices of face masks and hand sanitizer products for extra profit.  While I am confident that most traders are ethical, I do not discount the fact that there may be some black sheep amongst them who will do anything for quick profit.

Currently, there are 5 types of face masks which have been listed as Price Control Items under the Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act 2011. They are namely:

  Description of Face Mask   Wholesale Price Retail Price
1. Topeng muka (pembedahan/perubatan) 1 lapisan (gelung telinga)   RM5.00 sekotak RM7.00 sekotak
2. Topeng muka (pembedahan/perubatan) 2 lapisan ( gelung telinga) RM8.00 sekotak RM10.00 sekotak / RM0.20 seunit  
3. Topeng muka (pembedahan/perubatan) 3 lapisan (gelung telinga/gelung kepala)   RM25.00 sekotak RM0.80 seunit
4. Topeng muka (pembedahan/ perubatan) 3 lapisan (ikatan pada kepala)   RM30.00 sekotak RM0.80 seunit
5. Topeng muka (pembedahan / perubatan) N95 RM100 sekotak   RM6.00 seunit  

Members of the public who find any shop selling any of these five items above their respective maximum prices can lodge a report to the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs office and our enforcement officers will take immediate action upon receiving such reports.

Meanwhile, our 2,300 enforcement officers and 1000 price checkers nationwide will also be carrying out inspection on outlets selling these items.

While the other types of face masks are not listed in the Price Control items, they are still subject to the same Act, but under different section of the Act which prohibits profiteering activities. Any act to arbitrarily hike the prices for unreasonable profit will also be an offence under the same Act. 

Upon conviction, a person shall be liable:

1.       where such person is a natural person, a fine not exceeding RM100,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 years; and

2.       where such person is a corporation, a fine not exceeding RM500,000.

Due to panic buying by the public, many outlets have sold out their stocks of face mask.  Our officers from the ministry are meeting up with the face mask suppliers today to discuss on increasing the supply of face masks in the market. We will do our best to get enough supply to meet the sudden huge surge in demand for face masks.

We are now caught in a global crisis situation. Let us all work together to get out of the crisis.