KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 17 — The DAP today denied Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s accusation of racism in the opposition’s repeated attacks on Kedai Rakyat 1 Malaysia (KR1M).
Publicity chief Tony Pua, who has repeatedly accused the thrift store in the past two weeks of allegedly selling substandard, illegal and overpriced goods, said “the racist accusations made by the minister” on his Facebook page were “completely baseless.”
“tony phua DAP ni masih tk habis2 menfitnah KRIM... jelas agenda DAP yg ingin menguburkan KRIM yg rata2 supplier nya terdiri dari IKS bumiputra. Rata2 pembeli nya terdiri dari gol berpendapatan rendah bumiputra. Mydin pun bumiputra (Tony Pua DAP continues to slander KR1M. Clearly DAP’s agenda is to bury KR1M whose suppliers are mainly Bumiputera small and medium enterprises. Most of the customers are also low-income Bumiputeras. Mydin is also Bumiputera),” the domestic trade, co-operatives and consumerism minister wrote on Tuesday, referring to the hypermarket giant that operates the KR1M outlets.
The Bera MP added that it was “unfortunate there are Bumiputeras like (PKR vice-president) Nurul Izzah (Anwar) and (PAS research chief) Dzulkifli (Ahmad) who ‘bark’ on behalf of DAP (malangnya ada bumiputra spt nurul izah & zulkifli ‘menyalak’ bagi pihak DAP).
But Pua said in a statement today that Ismail Sabri should face up to the problems highlighted instead of going on an “inflammatory rant, calling Pakatan Rakyat (PR) MPs, DAP and myself racists for allegedly being anti-Malay in our exposés.”
“It is PR that is fighting for the interest of the mostly Malay consumers at KR1M as well as other poor Malaysians,” the Petaling Jaya Utara MP said.
He also accused the government of “subsidising the KR1M stores to the tune of RM40 million in 2012...” to sacrifice the interest of ordinary Malays and Malaysians by giving unsubstantiated “guarantees” on the quality of KR1M products and pander to the monetary and vested interest of certain businessmen.”
He also told a press conference that the Health Ministry must compel KR1M to recall growing up milk powder that contained eight times the legal limit of Vitamin A as it may lead to liver problems, reduced bone density and skin discolouration.
“Customers who can produce a receipt must also be given a full refund,” he said.
The opposition pact has accused the government taking advantage of the poor by selling “substandard products” at the KR1M which were launched by Datuk Seri Najib Razak in June.
But at a press conference on Monday, Mydin denied allegations that KR1M sold higher priced but lower quality products.
Mydin managing director Datuk Ameer Ali Mydin only conceded that there was a misleading label on the 1 Malaysia oyster sauce bottle which should instead have stated it was oyster-flavoured sauce.
The prime minister launched the first of three shops now operating in the Klang Valley in response to rising inflation, which hit a two-year high of 3.5 per cent that same month.
KR1M offers 250 generic products like rice, oil, flour, bread, eggs, milk powder and diapers at prices 30 to 40 per cent lower than market rates, as well as branded goods.
Najib said more KR1M would be set up in other locations similar to the 1 Malaysia clinics his administration has established in states like Sabah and Sarawak.