Media Outlet: New Straits Times
6:35 PM, Tuesday, 7 January 2020
By Audrey Dermawan
Ops Catut 6.0 warns businesses against profiteering
Some 2,000 enforcement officers from the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry will
go to the ground to conduct checks at thousands of premises nationwide to combat against
profiteering under“Ops Catut 6.0”. -NSTP/RAMDZAN MASIAM
BUKIT MERTAJAM: The Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry has warned businesses nationwide against profiteering or risk stern action.
Its enforcement director Datuk Iskandar Halim Sulaiman said some 2,000 ministry enforcement officers would go to the ground to conduct checks at thousands of premises nationwide to combat against profiteering under the operation dubbed “Ops Catut 6.0”.
He said the operation was a move to ensure businesses do not take advantage by manipulating prices or seeking excessive profits.
“We will target all levels of the supply chain of goods from the producers, distributors, importers, wholesalers, and retailers. “We will not compromise and will not hesitate to take stern action against those who resort to profiteering.
“We begin the Ops Catut 6.0 here in Penang, with this factory as a start,” he said during a check at Rex Industry Bhd factory in Simpang Ampat near here today.
During the check, Iskandar handed over a notice to the factory’s chief executive officer Datuk Cheah Teng Lim for him to explain his profit margin to determine if there was an element of profiteering.
Cheah has been given five days to do so or can request for an extension.
Rex manufactures canned food and beverage.
Elaborating on the operation, Iskandar said some 118 investigation papers were opened against errant businesses, with six cases involving egg factories in Melaka.
He said of the six cases, four were prosecuted in court and one ordered to enter defence.
“Back in 2018, we opened 22 investigation papers,” he said, adding that the differences in the figure were because the operation in 2018 only started on Sept 1 that year following the end of the three-month tax holiday.
Iskandar said the ministry was checking on complaints alleging onions were sold for up to RM24 per kg.
Refusing to divulge the location, he said they had received tip-offs on the matter and were investigating the claims.
“Unlike before, we are getting fewer complaints. We are relying on onion supply from China and Myanmar, which are cheaper,” he said.
Late last year, the ministry had said that a shortage of onions from India had led to an increase in prices following an export ban from the producing country.
According to media reports, a kilogramme of Indian onions previously priced at RM4 has now sky-rocketed to RM12.