KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 9 — Putrajaya must stop claiming Kedai Rakyat 1 Malaysia (KR1M) own brand products can help cut living expenses when hypermarkets sell the same generic items for less, Tony Pua said today.
The DAP publicity chief said while some goods were indeed cheaper, the price difference was far less than the 30 to 50 per cent discount claimed on the Kedai Rakyat website.
“For example, KR1M claims to sell a 425g can of sardines for RM2.99, ‘saving’ the customer a whopping 51 per cent,” he told reporters in the Parliament lobby today.
“However, a check at Carrefour showed that a 425g can of sardines... sells for RM2.49, or 20 per cent cheaper than KR1M.”
Similarly, a 1L bottle of bleach sold for only RM1.29 at Tesco compared to RM1.90, or 47 per cent more, at Kedai Rakyat, he said.
Pua also pointed out that, based on a basket of 23 common household goods and food items, consumers would save some eight per cent if they shopped at Carrefour instead of Kedai Rakyat.
The basket included rice, minced meat, chilli sauce, fruit juice, detergent, toilet paper and dishwashing liquid, among others.
Pua said Kedai Rakyat 1 Malaysia and Barisan Nasional (BN) ministers should be investigated for their “irresponsible and misleading” claims, which breached the Malaysian Code of Advertising Practice (MCAP).
“In fact, it is the Domestice Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry which is responsible for regulating the industry and ensuring consumers are not cheated by misleading claims,” he said.
“However, when the ministry itself is guilty of such offences as a result of the Barisan Nasional government’s vested interest in KR1M, it becomes a gross breach of its responsibility to the people.”
Pua added that he would be happy for the government to flog cheap, quality products but said that such promotions should apply to any company capable of delivering low prices and not just Kedai Rakyat.
“We fear such measures will only end up profiting certain business entities instead of offering real quality products at the cheapest possible prices to the man on the street,” he said.