KUALA LUMPUR: Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Hasan Malek yesterday challenged anyone claiming that there are increases in the prices of essential items after the 13th general election (GE13) to come forward with proof instead of making unfounded claims.
Emphasising that there had been no increase in the prices of essential goods, Hasan said the opposition liked to make allegatons without proof which showed that they deliberately wanted to cause public hatred against the government.
“All their talks carry political undertones without thinking of developing the country at all. Disclose the place (where prices have gone up) so that we can make inspection…I personally am willing to go down even to Kota Kinabalu (Sabah),” he told reporters after opening the Buy Malaysian Goods Expo 2013 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, here.
The three-day expo, which began on Friday, is participated by about 100 exhibitors comprising government agencies and private companies in the various sectors including automotive, food and drinks, furniture, interior decorations and health.
Commenting on the action by 20 Muslim non-governmental organisations (NGOs) which wanted Muslims to boycott Chinese products, Hasan said he respected the stand of all the NGOs concerned because as a neutral body, it had the freedom of expression.
“Every NGO has the right to express an opinion and this ministry does not want to be involved…because our function is to protect the interest and rights of the people,” he said.
At a media conference on Tuesday, 20 Muslim NGOs called on Muslims to boycott several products which were said to be unsafe for consumption.
Hasan, however, said he would call for a meeting with the representatives of the NGOs concerned in the near future to discuss the matter in detail.
Earlier in his speech, the minister said companies in this country should not look only at the domestic market as their main consumers but should also build their capacity to compete with the best outside the country.
“One way of penetrating the global market is when our products and services can compete with and fulfill the world standards,” he said.
On the Buy Malaysian Goods Campaign, Hasan said it was a continuous effort by the ministry to assist the growth of the national economy and check the outflow of funds. — Bernama