As the death toll for the life-threatening Wuhan virus worryingly climbs each day, many have been stocking up on epidemic essentials such as masks, hand sanitizers and gloves to protect themselves in public places. But the demand for these essentials have skyrocketed so high that it seems as though every pharmacy is sold out of these goods. Unfortunately, that leaves plenty of room for other sellers to take advantage of the global epidemic by marking up the prices of necessities to ridiculous amounts.
A 55-year-old woman from Kedah was recently caught selling a SINGLE box of masks for the outrageous price of RM140! Following reports from Oriental Daily, at approximately 9:15 am yesterday (9th February), a woman was caught by authorities after attempting to sell boxes of masks for RM140 each at a pasar in Telok Wang. What’s ridiculous is that the original retail price for one box was RM25!
Omar, the director of the law enforcement team under the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs said that an officer went undercover and pretended to be a customer interested in purchasing the mask.
“The woman said that there were only 2 boxes of masks left, pressing that it was difficult to buy masks now. She even said that others would typically sell a box for RM250, while she only sells it for RM140.”
However, once the woman exposed her antics, the law enforcement officer and his team confiscated the masks and detained the seller under the Price Control and Anti-Profit Making Act of 2011.
The officer added that people selling bulk products above their original price can face fines of up to RM100,000, up to 3 years of imprisonment or a combination of both these consequences.
Since the outbreak of the Wuhan virus, authorities have received 14 reports of people selling masks for absurd prices in Sungai Petani, Alor Setar and Kulim. Director Omar urges all merchants and sellers to abide by the regulations of selling bulk products as offenders will be dealt with severely.
We should be making these necessities more accessible to others instead of hoarding them for selfish purposes. What do you guys think of this?
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