The Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDHEP) has inspected 2,453 business premises from Jan 25 to date and out of the total, 19 offences were detected with a compound value of RM67,400 and a seizure worth RM4,343.50.
Its minister, Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said in a statement said of the 19 offences, 16 involved selling above the maximum price while the remaining for not displaying prices.
He asserted that the face masks (surgery/medical) were regulated goods under the Price Control (Controlled Prices) Order 2009 and the Price Control (Maximum Pricing) (No.2) Order 2009.
"This means that any seller who sells the face masks above the regulated price committed an offence under the Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act 2011 (AKHAP).
"KPDNHEP enforcement officers will enhance monitoring of business premises selling masks until the 2019 Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) issue can be curbed to address any sales beyond the control price or unreasonable price hikes according to the 2011 AKHAP," he said.
He said to protect consumers from profiteering activities following the increased demand for the item, KPDNHEP Enforcement officers were actively conducting daily inspections at business premises selling the face masks nationwide starting Jan 25.
The maximum prices of the face mask are as follows:
- Face mask 1-ply (earloop) 100 pieces x 1 box - RM7.00 per box
- Face mask 2-ply (earloop) 100 pieces x 1 box - RM10.00 per box, RM0.20 per unit
- Face mask 3-ply (ear & head loop) - 50 pieces x 1 box - RM0.80 per unit
- Face mask 3-ply (tie-on) 50 pieces x 1 box - RM0.80 per unit
- N95 20 pieces x 1 box - RM6.00 per unit
Saifuddin Nasution hoped that with the ministry's firm stand, traders would continue to comply with laws.
He also urged consumers to lodge complaints to the ministry through any of its nine complaint channels, including WhatsApp at 019-2794317 if they found the items sold above the control prices.