Pre-SST bargains, discounts trigger shopping craze

Long queues snake through every checkout counters as shoppers patiently wait for their turn to pay.

KUCHING: Shoppers rushed to bag some amazing bargains yesterday as shops and retailers across the city took advantage of the last day zero-tax to roll out massive discounts and promotions on several products before the enforcement of Sales and Services Tax (SST), which comes into effect today.

At the popular Boulevard Hypermall here, a huge crowd of shoppers were seen snapping up various products from food, clothing and home products to electrical and electronic goods.

At the checkout counters, long queues snaked in as shoppers with baskets and trolleys filled with goods patiently waited for their turn to pay.

According to a shopper who wanted to be known only as Gan, she is already expecting household expenditure to increase as SST kicks in because the prices of consumer goods are likely to rise.

“But I am not here to splurge today. It so happens that so many promotions are going on and I’m just getting the stuff that I like,” she said when met yesterday.

Another shopper Michael Ngipa, however, did not think that the SST would have a big impact on household expenditure – unless prices of daily needs like food and beverages at coffee shops went up.

Meanwhile, Consumers Voice Association Sarawak (Covas) chairman Michael Tiong was optimistic that the implementation of SST would open another new chapter as the tax system would affect businesses, consumers and citizens.

He noted that people were expecting prices of consumer goods and services to decrease, even though it might not be a major adjustment that would affect the cost of living for those in medium and low-income group.

Nonetheless, Tiong also called upon consumers to report to the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs if they suspected some businesses of doing some profiteering.

“Businesses should not take advantage of consumers. We also expect the authority to enforce the law by monitoring businesses and making sure that they comply with the Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act,” he said.

Shoppers rush to hypermarkets to grab big bargains on the last day of the tax-holiday period.

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