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Badawi laments Consumers associations are not playing their part in ensuring the lowering of prices of consumer goods, although petrol prices have been reduced. I think he has got the wrong end of the stick. One of the reasons why prices don’t go down is because of lack of information on the variety of prices of consumable goods based on location.

Let us look at the price of fish and vegetables. Prices vary based on location, meaning a kilo of fish (whatever kind) is cheaper in Ipoh than in Kuala Lumpur. What we lack is a broadsheet of prices fish and vegetables available in the main wet markets of Penang, Taiping, Ipoh Kuala Lumpur and so forth. I am sure the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry can do this daily and the details published via the media. This will allow the consumer to compare prices and help them to deselect items and look for alternatives or a cheaper variety until such times the price gets standardized.

Second, price tags have become a joke. In the wet market I deal with, the prices are all itemised in a big board or display right behind the counter. The list is not updated. This is where enforcement is lacking. Every item of fish or vegetable must have a distinct label placed in the vicinity of that item in clear visible terms, not some sloppy cardboard where the figures have been erased, most of the time by over usage. Big indicators of price tags enables the consumer, to know at a glance what the item costs, rather than going around asking for the price from each stall holder.

And finally, look for good bargains in hyper markets, they are cheaper than in wet markets.

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