Consumer Issue

In a media conference, Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr. Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew bin Abdullah, advised the public not to engage in irrational panic purchasing and hoarding of household essentials, food items, face masks and hand sanitizer, following the announcement of the confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country on 9th and 10th of March. Additionally, Minister at the Prime Minister's Office and Second Minister of Finance and Economy also advised the public to be considerate to other consumers who are truly in need such as those who are unwell, caregivers and frontliners, so as to enable them to acquire the required items.

The Ministry of Finance and Economy also confirmed that rice reserves at the Treasury Department are sufficient to meet demands. Therefore, the public are reminded not to purchase rice in large quantities that exceed normal needs.

Members of the public are also advised to respect the rationing if such measures are put in place by retailers on a temporary basis, as the basic food items such as rice and sugar and other required items are currently in high demand.

Meanwhile, the Department of Competition and Consumer Affair (DCCA), Ministry of Finance and Economy are continuously monitoring the prices of face masks and hand sanitizer to ensure ethical business practices. To date, DCCA has received 31 consumer complaints related to the increase of face masks and sanitizers.

To enhance price transparency and for public reference, prices of specific face masks and hand sanitizer from several business premises have been uploaded to the PenggunaBijak mobile app and the DCCA website.

DCCA and Treasury Department will continue to monitor the situation in the market and seek business cooperation and support to address the panic buying behaviour. Public may share their concerns related to consumer issue through the 24-hour Consumer Hotline under Talian Darussalam 123. Public may also contact Treasury Department at 2383666 ext. 7788 (during office hours) for matters related to rice and sugar supplies.

Source: Radio Television Brunei