Shift in trend towards online transactions as more complaints surfaced, says PM

KUALA LUMPUR: Other complaints about online transactions have surfaced following a shift in consumer trend since the first movement control order in 2020, says Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

The Prime Minister said that between March 2020 and February 28 this year, the Ministry of Internal Trade and Consumer Affairs received 24,150 complaints from consumers regarding online transactions, which represents 36.45% of the total complaints. complaints received since March 2020.

”This indicates that the shift in trend towards online transactions has made consumers more aware of their rights, including taking their complaints to the ministry whenever there is wrongdoing by sellers.

“With the rapid growth of e-commerce, complaints related to online transactions have increased and become the highest of all types,” he said after the launch of World Consumer Rights Day at the national level. at the Nu Sentral Mall here on Saturday (March 26). .

Also present were Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs, Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi, and his deputy, Datuk Rosol Wahid.

This year’s program, themed “Consumer Digitization”, aims to encourage all parties to raise awareness of digitalization at all levels of society.

Ismail Sabri, who was formerly the minister responsible for consumer affairs, said the focus this year was on developing and adopting technologies that took over from conventional ways of doing business.

He also urged everyone to be extra careful when transacting online.

“Avoid being duped, verify all information before doing business, including online payments, negotiations and others.

Nanta said that among the frequent complaints about online transactions received were products different from advertisements, undelivered products and counterfeit products.

According to the Consumer Empowerment Index (CEI), he said Malaysia’s score of 63.1% showed consumers’ awareness of their rights was still poor.

”The ministry will continue to promote public awareness initiatives, such as providing platforms for consumers to compare prices and sell, file complaints and refer their complaints to the consumer court. .”

Nanta said that as of March 15 this year, a total of 3,347 merchant operators have gone digital in their payment system through the Retails Digitalization Initiative (ReDI).

“By 2025, we expect to see some 15,000 commercial operators nationwide adopt ReDI,” he said.

In response to a question, he said Malaysia’s goal of a cashless nation by 2025 would not be achievable without the “climbing on board” of consumers and businesses.

Nanta also said that the ministry will fine-tune the continued implementation of the sales program in Malaysia (Program Jualan Malaysia) during the upcoming fasting month of Ramadan, so that it can benefit the people.

”It is supposed to end this month but we have received a letter allowing this program to be extended.

”Many industry players, hypermarkets and representatives have expressed their interest in joining us.

“We’re going to refine it so that the result helps ease people’s burden of rising living costs,” he said.

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