KUCHING: The Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA) has encouraged the implementation of e-Bazaar market places in view of the cancellation of Ramadan and Gawai bazaars throughout the state due to Movement Control Order (MCO) to stop the spread of Covid-19.
Its general manager Dr Zaidi Razak said since Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg’s call for food operators to utilise the Internet to sell delicacies as a pre-emptive measure to prevent an escalation of the disease, e-Bazaar groups have mushroomed on social media and various messenger service platforms.
According to him, the most prolific ones are those found on Facebook and WhatsApp groups.
“Their popularity with small-time operators is complemented by the prevalence of online banking and e-Wallet services.
“To illustrate, the state’s Sarawak Pay e-Wallet has seen an almost 100 per cent increase in new user sign-ups during the MCO period while new merchant registration has increased by 52 per cent,” he said in a statement today.
Nevertheless, he called upon vendors to comply with the requirement of the Consumer Protection (Electronic Trade Transaction) Regulations 2012 as with all business transactions.
“Invariably, well-established food service platforms will shoulder most of this legal compliance being an intermediary between sellers and customers.
“But for those in the social media market place, sellers have to be aware of the by-laws as enshrined in the Food Hygiene Regulation 2009 and the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) 2010,” he said adding that these include obtaining the necessary operating permit, health certification and training.
For customers, Zaidi said they are responsible for checking the suitability and quality of the offerings before a purchase is made.
“If you are buying from the social media market place, know who you are ordering from. Never disclose more than you have to, to complete a sale.
“In other words, be wary of scammers.”
He advised that when ordering from a service delivery platform, users must always guard their password or login details and ensure that Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) requirements are explicit and seen to be enforced.
“Once you have made your purchase, keep a record of all transactions handy when they are needed to resolve refunds and return process.
“Technology has given us enabling tools to solve problems. In this case, it’s reducing contact when social distancing is the norm. However it is still accountability and responsibility that can foster a vibrant and safe e-commerce environment,” he said.