Don’t succumb to panic buying
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysians should discard their habit of resorting to panic buying in reaction to news of an imminent price increase or reported shortages in supply of goods.
This panic-mode buying was usually unnecessary and created ugly scenes of people in long queues or scrambling for goods.
The Federation of Malaysian Consumers Association (Fomca) president Datuk N Marimuthu (pix, below) said the people should re-evaluate their purchasing habits and not succumb to panic buying.
He said that consumers should not rush to buy certain items in bulk whenever there was a shortage of essential goods.
“The government can find replacements or solutions to settle these problems, so there is nothing to panic about,” he told theantdaily.
Malaysians have been seen buying items in bulk for fear of a possible shortage of supply.
Recently, Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Syabas) sounded a warning that the Klang Valley might face a shortage of water as a result of an oil spill in Sungai Selangor.
The grim message triggered a rush to supermarkets and shops where mineral water bottles were cleared off the shelves in double quick time.
However, water supply has since resumed to normal.
Similarly, when Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced an increase of 20 sen per litre for RON 95 petrol and diesel prices, Malaysians were seen queuing up at petrol stations to fill up the tanks.
Marimuthu said the tendency to go into panic buying when a “crisis” happened reflected the lack of understanding by Malaysian consumers on how the markets worked.
“Malaysians don’t understand how certain economic measures work… they must educate themselves on these issues and let common sense prevail,” he said.
He also said consumers should not be swayed by rumour-mongers or the Internet on claims that certain essential goods may deplete.
Asked if the spates of panic buying are caused by the public’s lack of confidence towards the administration to ensure that supply of essential goods remains running, he said the government often has alternative channels to ensure there is enough supply.
“The government will be able to manage these crises should it happen, by importing the goods without raising prices of these items. The panic buying culture cannot be encouraged,” he said.