Thursday, November 10, 2011

KR1M - a bad policy decision and detrimental to the small sundry shops..

KR1M - Kedai Rakyat 1 Malaysia allegedly is selling household products at a lower price that products available normally in Supermarkets and sundry shops - but my concern is for the owners of the 'kedai runcit'...the sundry shops - would this not be detrimental to their making an income... After all, they already find in most hard to compete with the supermarkets...and the hypermarkets...and now our BN government is competing with these small businessmen through their KR1M shops and this is wrong.

Is the government using the people's money to subsidize these products only available to some specified shops (or are they manufacturing these cheaper products themselves...) - this is so very wrong.  This seems to be the BN government's solution to the increased cost of living.... it is so unjust - and will have a serious implication on the small time business people running those little 'kedai runcit' in towns, small towns, housing estates, kampungs...Best to just subsidize basic products needed by every household - and this will reach the poor for sure... Not all kampungs, towns and other areas where the poor live have these KR1M shops...

And about these products, how exactly are the prices kept low - is the materials and products use of low quality? Maybe consumer groups should be looking into this... OR is it that manufacturers of the other products are just charging too high... maybe this too may need to be controlled..

Worst affected by the government's actions will be the small time business people who really are already struggling to make ends meet. It is good that some local councils do consider the welfare of these people - and not approve the giant hypermarkets like TESCO, Giant, etc set up their outlets in some towns. This is good for our concern is not just to get cheaper products to the consumer - but also the welfare and the well-being of the small business persons.

While we are talking about this - it maybe time for the BN government to intervene to make sure that the bigger Supermarkets do also take and market products of everyone, especially locally manufactured products. Now, these Supermarkets control too much - and they kill certain manufacturers by just not taking and selling their products in their supermarkets...and they improve the profits of others that they do choose... Sadly, in many places there is not much option - and businesses and brands can just be killed by actions of these giant supermarket chains....But then, our BN government is just too scared to interfere with the businesses of these giants, who many a time are owned by people outside Malaysia...

Our Minister talked about the budget meal - but then, we cannot find them in the KFCs or shops - just this stall and that small stall - funny projects wasting a lot of time and money... Price Control is only option, and this needs government subsidies - and this should be for all basic food and household products...and also medicines...

Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob is now saying that the price of vegetables, etc is on the rise because of floods in Thailand - the question is why has the Malaysian BN government struggling to ensure that Malaysia is self-sufficient with regards to rice, vegetables, etc - Many farmers could have been given necessary land for farming - but no, it is so difficult for farmers to get land, and many end up 'trespassing' on State land or wherever to plant their vegetables... This is a sector that needs to be heavily subsidized (even the US and Europe subsidizes food production) but alas in Malaysia, food is not a priority and preference is cash crops for export... Our weather is good, and it can be done... Buy the food at high price, and then the government could sell it back to retailers ...after all, that is what they are already doing, buying it from other countries and reselling it at lower prices...   What about doing the same for Malaysian farmers...

I am really angry with this BN government - they remove subsidies - and then we find out they wasted millions and millions of ringgit through 'corruption' and other wrong moves. So many of these wastage have recently been highlighted but sadly nothing is done to the guilty - the relevant Minister, DG or Head of Department must be penalized - sacked or even transferred... but they do not do this, and next year we find the same kind of wastage...Maybe, it is time for the people to voice out come next GE...

Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob has denied that household products sold under the Kedai Rakyat 1Malaysia (KR1M) brand are more expensive compared to similar products sold at hypermarkets.

He said the opposition’s allegations on the matter were baseless, saying comparisons should be made “apple-to-apple”.

“Any comparison should be as a whole taking into consideration weight, packaging and most importantly quality,” he told reporters in Kuala Lumpur today.

He was commenting on claims by DAP national publicity chief Tony Pua that a price comparison showed there was little difference in prices of household items sold at KR1M outlets and at Carrefour hypermarkets and that some of the items were in fact much cheaper at Carrefour.

Ismail Sabri stressed that from the beginning, his ministry had fixed the prices of KR1M products to between 30 and 50 percent lower than their branded counterparts but not products sold under house brands like in Carrefour.

He said the opposition was trying to mislead the people by making unfair comparisons in terms of contents (weight and volume), nutritional information besides promotions that were held.

On escalating prices of essential items as a result of the flood disaster in Thailand, Ismail Sabri said his ministry was monitoring the situation closely to ensure consumers’ interests were protected.

“Right now, my ministry is waiting for feedback on the prices of imported items like vegetables, fish and other food products from the Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Ministry as such matters come under their purview,” he said. _
Malaysiakini, 10/11/2011, Ismail Sabri denies KR1M products are pricey
DAP’s Beruas MP Ngeh Koo Ham has demanded that the Ministry of Rural and Regional Development answers for nearly RM500 million in alleged irregularities, failing which the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) should investigate. - Malaysiakini, 10/11/2011, MP demands answers over RM500mil 'losses'

PKR is puzzled how despite an alleged scaling-down of the National Feedlot Corporation’s (NFC) production target, its soft loan from the government remains unrevised.

“Why isn’t the soft loan allocation not reviewed? Why is it still at RM250 million? Why is it not scaled-down?” secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution asked during a press conference in Parliament House today.
Saifuddin (left) argued that if the production targets were really revised downward, then the budgetary requirements should have been reduced as well.

"If from 60,000 (head of cattle) was scaled down to 8,000, then the soft loan should be reduced (in similar proportion), based on Veterinary Department estimates," the parliamentarian posited.

He was responding directly to arguments by BN backbenchers earlier today that the NFC production target of 60,000 has been scaled down to 8,000 as per the revised production targets.- Malaysiakini, 9/11/2011, Full-blown funding for scaled-down NFC target?

BN parliamentarians today defended the funds and discounts the National Feedlot Corporation (NFC) gave to its allied companies, saying the allocations were justified by its real scope of work.

Rebutting claims by the opposition, Rembau MP Khairy Jamaluddin said the
RM81.2 million channelled to National Livestock & Meat Corporation (NLMC) Sdn Bhd and the RM3 million discount accorded to Real Food Company (RFC) Sdn Bhd, “served multiple objectives”, not just to process raw meat. ...As for the NLMC, the RM81.2 million loan was not merely for the production of raw beef but also for infrastructure, to open up market access and to purchase cattle from satellite farms served by the NFC.

Speaking to reporters in the Parliament lobby, Khairy said RFC, the sole distributor of beef from NFC, received discounts of RM3 million that was eventually passed down to the distribution network.

“Some of the buyers from RFC are hypermarkets such as Jusco, Carrefour, Cold Storage and Giant, farmers markets, the food and beverage industry and downstream food processing companies,” said Khairy....
{ What about the small shops, mini markets,...etc????) - Malaysiakini, 9/11/2011, Discounts, loans to NFC sister firms justified, say BN MPs

Questions: Are all these companies government owned companies? Or merely 'government-linked' companies, where there are other 'private' shareholders, be it persons or entities? What is the salary of the CEOs? What are the allowances that Directors got? Who are these Directors? 

We really need to have Parliamentary Select Committees set up - who will conduct public inquiries into all these alleged wastage...possible corruption? Bring the people involved - the CEOs and the Directors - let us hear their answers... now all we have is this BN MP or that defending them....and this is not good...

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