Will Cabinet adopt “RM22,500 fines for selling Milo at RM1.80” rule to fight corruption?

The Cabinet tomorrow should decide whether it is prepared to endorse and adopt the “RM22,500 fines for selling Milo at RM1.80” rule as the yardstick to punish the corrupt among the high and mighty to restore integrity and good governance in public life in Malaysia.

This follows the very high-handed action of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry enforcement officers penalizing a mamak restaurant in Kuala Terengganu, Restoran Nasi Kandar Tanjung, issuing compound fines of RM22,500 for charging RM1.80 for a glass of iced Milo.

The Ministry enforcement officers also seized food and drinks worth about RM750 and they also tore down the shop’s signboard.

Terengganu Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh was full of praise for the high-handed enforcement action, which had been criticized as overzealous and unwarranted, saying that it was high time such severe action be a lesson to all food outlet operators who flouted the law.

Are the RM22,500 fines for charging RM1.80 for a glass of iced Milo defensible? Absolutely not, as they are not only high-handed, overzealous, unwarranted but gross abuses of power.

I fully endorse actions by enforcement officers against food operators or traders for indiscriminate price increases, but one power abuse cannot justify another even more heinous power abuse.

I am all for the deterrent principle, as contained in the Chinese saying “to kill a fowl to frighten the moneys”, to curb exorbitant profiteering but this cannot justify gross abuses of power which undermines public confidence in good governance in the country.

On the specific case of the mamak restaurant in Kuala Terengganu, there is dispute about the facts — with the accusation on the one hand that it had overcharged about 20 sen to 30 sen more than the usual price and the defence by the 35-year-old operator of the restaurant in Jalan Hiliran, Kuala Terengganu that he had started charging RM1.80 for the drink ever since he started his business early this year and it had nothing to do with the recent civil servant salary increase.

Without being bogged down by the facts, I agree as a matter of principle that strong deterrent action should be taken against the mamak restaurant if it had been guilty of unscrupulous profiteering by charging RM1.80 for a glass of iced Milo, after the government had announced a salary increase for civil servants of between 7.5% and 35% effective from July.

The issue is whether the mamak restaurant should be given compound fines of RM22,500 even if it is true that it had unscrupulously increased the price of a glass of iced Milo from 20 to 30 sen?

Fine it up to 1,000 times of the unscrupulous profiteering of 30 sen or up to RM300, and nobody would accuse the enforcement officers of gross abuse of power. But to impose RM22,500 fines, which is more than 70,000 times of the unscrupulous profiteering if any — where is the sense of proportion and justice?

I am shocked that the Deputy Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk S. Veerasingam could justify such gross abuse of power by his enforcement officers on the ground that under the Trade Descriptions Act 1972, an individual can be fined up to RM100,000 or three years’ jail, or both, for selling an item at a price higher than what is displayed.

Is Veerasingam seriously suggesting that the mamak restaurant operator could be fined up to RM100,000 or jailed for three years for overcharging an iced glass of Milo by 30 sen? If so, then Veerasingam is not fit to be Deputy Minister in the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry, or the whole government is rotten to the core!

The “RM22,500 fines for selling Milo at RM1.80” fiasco has raised an important question among many Malaysians — why the double standards in law enforcement?

This is the reason for my call to the Cabinet tomorrow to declare whether it is prepared to endorse and adopt the “RM22,500 fines for selling Milo at RM1.80” rule as the yardstick to punish the corrupt among the high and mighty to restore integrity and good governance in public life in Malaysia, requiring corrupt Ministers and public servants to be penalized by over 70,000 times for their corrupt and ill-gotten gains?

If the “RM22,500 fines for selling Milo at RM1.80” rule is to be applied strictly without fear or favour, then action should be taken instantly against Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Chief Ministers and Mentris Besar who have amassed fortunes completely disproportionate to their known means of income, and their ill-gotten gains should not only be confiscated, they should be penalized by over 70,000 times their ill-gotten gains.

  1. #1 by Jong on Tuesday, 29 May 2007 - 1:11 pm

    Truly befuddling!

    “We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office” – Aesop

  2. #2 by CA on Tuesday, 29 May 2007 - 1:14 pm

    You suggested a fine of RM 300. Isn’t that too low to deter any hawkers from being scrupulous? What is RM 300 in the eyes of many relatively rich shopowners these days?

    Sometimes Malaysians are not just sick of the government, but also tired of the opposition’s rhetorics and lack of better suggestions. What concrete ideas do you have to fight corruption?

  3. #3 by FuturePolitician on Tuesday, 29 May 2007 - 1:26 pm

    In my cause to fend for the poor and the middle-class, in my effort to increase the quality of life and lower the cost of living, I am happy and yet sad at the same time.

    The over-pricing of many items has been the caused of the rising cost of living. If we follow the law of economics, the higher the demand the higher the price of such item because there is a shortage. We as consumer has the right not to drink in the shop. We as the consumer has the power not to patronage such expensive mamak. The law of supply and demand should work but we do not choose too but instead complaint and cause the disruption in this law.

    In this case, I am happy that the council has set an example and also sad that they abuse their power by again “strong arm tactics”. Why do we need law if such enforcement officer goes in as if they are the law. The trader now would have a legal recourse IF he at the beginning abide with the law in their setup of the business. There again..egg or chicken 1st question.

    I have been to many food outlet and practise never again to step foot in them if they start charging way too high for a meal or a drink.

    Many traders attempt to fufill the demand and practise monopoly and many consumer doesnt practise entreprenuership..This can start at home..by cooking a simple meal ourselfs, prepare our own cool milo drink and listen to soft music. BUT we dont feel the environmental effect of a bustling Mamak stall or foodoutlet.

    By closing down one outlet, you are depriving many other consumer of their needs. Instead, warning of a legal recourse should be brought to the owner’s attention.

    We want our MILO ice still but please dont over-charge!

    In all the cost of living is rising spirally due to the government lack of support to the building of economy, instead charging the consumer the use of the infrastructure which is a neccessity for economic building.

    When will we ever going to see changes in our life time?

  4. #4 by toyolbuster on Tuesday, 29 May 2007 - 1:28 pm

    If the Mamak is brave enough to reveal and report the truth behind this fiasco, DAP should help him to expose the culprits and to protect him further from being victimised later. This will indirectly help all the others who are similarly being systematically extorted daily and suffering in silence. This is not about overpricing for a glass of iced milo. This is about teaching the mamak a lesson for not paying his dues.

    If the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry is seriously enforcing the law to protect comsumers, they should start with those Nasi Ayam fellas, or the Roti Canai stalls. Each time the wholesale price of chicken goes up by 10sen a kilo, the operators would increase the price by 50sen per portion. Each kilo of chicken can produce about 6 portions. But when the wholesale price for chicken drops, the increased price for the chicken rice remains. Likewise for the increase of price for roti canai whenever the price of anything under the sun increases. But have the Ministry been doing anything about those abuses in the past and present.

  5. #5 by FIA on Tuesday, 29 May 2007 - 1:29 pm

    Am I missing something here? What law did the coffee-shop break? The local Coffee Bean charges RM9 for an iced chocolate & I don’t see the enforcement officers ripping down their signs.

    Is Milo a controlled item?

  6. #6 by W.O or Wilson on Tuesday, 29 May 2007 - 1:33 pm

    TO CA:

    LKS is not suggesting a fine of RM 300 – he is merely stating that the punishment should be proportionate to the crime. A fine between RM 500 to Rm 1000 would an appropriate deterrence – RM 22 000 is simply too high-handed.

    An appropriate deterrence IS a good suggestion, not a rhethoric as you so callously suggested.

  7. #7 by Libra2 on Tuesday, 29 May 2007 - 1:40 pm

    I am pretty sure the restaurant owner would not have been so unfortunate had he been a Malay or a UMNO member.
    I reckon this mamak is a PAS supporter.
    In this country, it is who you are and not what offence you commit.

  8. #8 by Bobster on Tuesday, 29 May 2007 - 1:43 pm

    Well, nothing new. Enforcement officers in this country are playing Gods. Sitting on top of their high chairs, do whatever they like and nobody can touch them. From town councils like MBPJ to Immigration Dept, all sharing the same mentality. Datuk Z can sell stay without license in government land for 10 yrs and built mansion on land allocated for low cost flats while average and poor Malaysians got penalized for some silly and minor faults. Undoubtedly this is the kind of attitude we have in the government departments.

    This was the first culture revelation I noticed when I first returned to the country after away for more than 10 yrs.

    You wouldn’t see these kind of low class mentality officers in other countries like Spore, Australia and Japan. They will face serious rebuke from dept concerned for violation of human rights, power abuse and corruption and get sacked in most cases. Unfortunately in this Bolehland, this kind of attitude has been rooted so deeply in the system that Malaysian citizens as a whole have accepted it and allow this mentality to rule and rot the nation. Sometimes just make you wonder is this the kind of mentality we are supposed to live in a Muslim country where individual freedom is suppressed? (sorry Muslim readers no offense just my confusion base on the daily happening in this country).

    In short, Authorities are the King, Nobody suppose to query them, PERIOD!

  9. #9 by Jimm on Tuesday, 29 May 2007 - 1:52 pm

    Aiyo, these are normally ‘roadshows’ by BN Government. My friend told me that hhe restaurant was raided based on Trengganu MB’s friends compliant. Otherwise, there won’t be any issue on price hikes as all officers are very ‘busy’ and the ministry are ‘short of staff’.

  10. #10 by jbhlee on Tuesday, 29 May 2007 - 1:53 pm

    RM1.80 for a glass of ice Milo?? You can find that everywhere in Selangor…from Subang to Klang. Every coffee shop, mamak nasi kandar shop…anywhere….RM1.80 is standard price. Ask them go compound every one of these shops…

  11. #11 by lakshy on Tuesday, 29 May 2007 - 1:54 pm

    No, we should go ahead with the RM22,500 fine. But we should also say that we must have politicians who are totally clean, and have no hint of corruption to their name. We should follow Singapore’s style, and such prominent persons shall be presumed guilty until proven innocent.

  12. #12 by k1980 on Tuesday, 29 May 2007 - 1:55 pm

    Was the price for the RM1.80 glass of iced Milo openly displayed for the patrons to see? If so, the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry has nobody to blame but the patrons themselves. On the other hand, were the prices not openly displayed, the mamak’s operating license should be withdrawn and the fine increased to RM500,000. Only in this way can inflation be brought under control

  13. #13 by Jong on Tuesday, 29 May 2007 - 1:59 pm

    Libra2, the axe was waiting to grind for so long, now it’s its chance!

    Look around in other parts of the country. Do we see permanent and semi-permanent nasi lemak and burger stalls mushrooming up all over the place?

    Why are they not removed yet they(local councils) send truckloads of enforcement personnel to chase away those poor housewives with their wares/veggies in baskets and trays, trying to earn some pocket money at morning markets?

    Why the discrimination?

  14. #14 by meursault on Tuesday, 29 May 2007 - 2:01 pm

    Selling RM1.50 iced Milo at RM 1.80 (20% higher) not OK. Selling RM40mil jet at RM50mil (25% higher) no problem!

  15. #15 by k1980 on Tuesday, 29 May 2007 - 2:09 pm

    Police are looking for 25 lawyers nationwide to help in the investigation.
    They are Noor Hadi Sallehon, Kushairi Abdul Karim, Arafat Shahar, Kaw Chee Kang and Andrew Lee Cheng Hoe (Kuala Lumpur),
    Raja Rohana Raja Mamat, Kua Tian Chye, Imran Hardy Mohamad Zaini, Manoharan Doraisamy and Morlailabt Ahmad (Selangor),
    Murugadas Ganesan, Jochim Louis P. Eastus Louis, Susan Olbery, Rosli A. Rahman, Mohd Hamdi Adb Hamid, Mohd Amin Hasbollah, Tan Kok Kwang and Md Madzhar Mohd Sapuan (Johor),
    Ramanathan Veerasamy and Maideen Mohamad (Perak), Leong Sing Cheong (Penang),
    Koay Kheh Seong and Sheikh Anuar Sheikh Daud (Kedah),
    Pok Yonh Chan (Malacca)
    and Loh Yin Fah (Pahang).

    Is one of them masquerading as the iced Milo mamak?

  16. #16 by Jeffrey on Tuesday, 29 May 2007 - 2:24 pm

    Here I want to talk of Justice in Malaysia.
    A nobody mamak restaurant in Terengganu, which charged RM1.80 for a glass of iced Milo – about 20sen to 30sen more than the usual price – has been hit with a RM22,500 compound fine. For its unscrupulous profiteering, it has to pay 70,000 times of the amount profiteered – as deterrent to all who might have the same ideas.
    Take another case of a high profile corporate player with political MCA links reported just a few days ago on 15th May 2007.
    This prominent businessman was fined RM6 million after admitting guilt to:-

    · conspiring with second prominent businessman to two counts of making false statements to the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange 10 years ago pertaining to 44,592,000 shares of Omega Holdings Bhd, between Sept 2, 1997 and Jan 12, 1998;

    · the second of two principal charges of defrauding the now-defunct Omega Securities Sdn Bhd of RM95,972,375. The other charge involved RM424,930,597.50.

    See link to NST report here: http://www.nst.com.my/Current_News/NST/Tuesday/Frontpage/20070515073046/Article/index_html

    If you compare the “deterrent value” of the first case is 70,000 times more than the amount profiteered whilst in the second case it is 70 times less – making the second case not a deterrent but an incentive!

    It is the injustice of cases like this that reinforces people to think that in this country Money and Power are the ‘be all and end all’ of everything – not ethics, not justice, not morality and not fairplay and certianly not integrity or excellence! With Power and Money, one can literally as well as figuratively get away with “murder”……

    The current complaints about rampant corruption (both in public & private sectors), shoddy workmanship of contractors leading to leaking pipes and ceilings and errant lawyers running away with clients’ money – how do you expect these guys, civil servants, contractors or lawyers alike, to embrace and internalize ethical values of fair play and not to cheat when the whole society, top to bottom, only pay lip service to ethics/morals but embrace the Money God more than anything else?

    If you play fair, and put ethics above money, you’re a miniscule minority who are praised on the outside and thought stupid in the inside by the majority rest.

    That is the regrettable Boleh culture, we’re steeped in now.

  17. #17 by sotong on Tuesday, 29 May 2007 - 2:33 pm

    This is really petty.

    Let the market forces of demand and supply do its work…..milo is not a controlled item.

    This is an insult to the consumers’ intelligent. They have choices and know how to make up their minds.

    This government mentality would have a significant impact entrepreneurship and the economy growth.

    Our country needs real entreprenuer/businessman who are prepared to sacrify everything to build successful businesses and create real wealth and employment – not those who rely solely on government contracts or connection.

  18. #18 by i_love_malaysia on Tuesday, 29 May 2007 - 2:37 pm

    Have u ever wonder why Mamak restaurant? because they are soft target!! who do they call for help when in need? MIC dont want them, UMNO also dont think they belong to them after TDM stepped down, MCA is definitely out, so no one will come to their help. Majority does have its advantages!!!

  19. #19 by i_love_malaysia on Tuesday, 29 May 2007 - 2:45 pm

    Come to think of it, may be the RM1.80 iced Milo is a little bit special i.e. may be it is using imported mineral water, come with tongkat ali and an egg which supposed to be RM2.50 in KL, but since it is at Kuala Terengganu, it is selling for RM1.80!! a big discount!!

  20. #20 by Cinnamon on Tuesday, 29 May 2007 - 2:51 pm

    This is ridiculous.

    This is a capitalist country. Except for some special items, the rest is controlled by demand and supply. If a person don’t like the price, then go to other shops.

    If Starbuck, Coffeebean can charge around around RM10, so who are this people to tell how much should the milo ice be.

    This is a proof that Veerasingham and Terenganu MB simply blab their mouth without understanding the facts.

    Bottomline, milo is not a controlled item, traders can fix whatever price they like..that is CAPITALISM.

  21. #21 by crosstalk on Tuesday, 29 May 2007 - 4:37 pm

    In the Star today it was headlined a Japanese minister committed suicide because of corruption.What does this incident reflect upon the ministers of the ‘bodohland’?

  22. #22 by DwarfSnakehead on Tuesday, 29 May 2007 - 4:38 pm

    Anyone with an Econs 101 qualification will know price fixing doesn’t work. Well the roti canai price can stay the same…but the size or the ingredients can be reduced or adulterated. How can you control that? Same with the milo…fix the price, the glass size will go smaller…and you may have imitation milo….made in a Belakong backyard. Best to allow supply and demand economics to set the equlilbrium price of goods.

  23. #23 by Lady on Tuesday, 29 May 2007 - 5:16 pm

    Actually, I agree with the excessive fine. Though I understand the concept of cari makan there is also a question of whether we allow them to get away with it.

    We seriously need more accountability amongst our ministers. Aiseh.

  24. #24 by dawsheng on Tuesday, 29 May 2007 - 5:16 pm

    If you play fair, and put ethics above money, you’re a miniscule minority who are praised on the outside and thought stupid in the inside by the majority rest.

    You are right Jeffrey, what you said brought back memories of J who wrote to Uncle Kit about his legal cybercafe being harrassed by unscrupulous enforcement officers. I wonder how is J doing now?

  25. #25 by hasilox on Tuesday, 29 May 2007 - 5:43 pm

    RM22,500 fines for charging RM1.80 milo. Why not hang the mamak in public and then drag his body across town? This is the way to keep inflation in check? No wonder, the country is in big mess.

    Why the real culprits (e.g. toll concessionaires and many other looters-linked companies) are allowed to loot the public and glorified whereas, a small business is subjected to such madness? The real cause of inflation is the mismanagement at the very top-level, not the result of petty traders.

  26. #26 by smeagroo on Tuesday, 29 May 2007 - 5:48 pm

    See how long this exercise of monitoring profiteering will go on. This is just hangat2 tahi ayam. After 3 months when the mamaks raise prices, whacha gonna do? RM22500 is way too much. RM1000 more “believable”.

    Of cos they are gungho on clamping down. They hv nohting to profit from. But tolls and other tariffs are different. Most of them benefit from it. All diam2 lo.

  27. #27 by boh-liao on Tuesday, 29 May 2007 - 5:51 pm

    As always the moral of the incidence is: in Malaysia, if you want to cheat or steal, cheat or steal BIG, real big, and your punishment, if ever you are caught, is comparatively light. However, if you cheat or steal small, your punishment is huge. Not worth cheating or stealing small time.

  28. #28 by Winston on Tuesday, 29 May 2007 - 6:05 pm

    I also noticed that the judicial system in this country is skewed towards the rich and well heeled.
    I’m sure that many of us have read about such crooks who misappropriated tens of millions but were given only a few years in jail. Their misdeeds have brought misery to hundreds if not thousands.
    It is indeed a worth-while proposition to these criminals to commit such crimes because, once they are released, they are free to enjoy their ill-gotten gains! Nobody is going to question the source of their wealth.
    I suggest that such miscreants be caned and locked up in jail until they pay back every penny that they have stolen.
    That’s the only penalty that is effective.

  29. #29 by Bobster on Tuesday, 29 May 2007 - 6:22 pm

    If you follow through Datuk Z case reported by The Sun weekly in the past, you will find some disheartening news of many poor souls barely made ends meet and got their hawker stalls torn down by the Klang Town Council officers whereas Datuk Z’s satay stall stood strong for 10 yrs till last moment and finally demolished due to public outcry.

    What kind of equality and ethics we are talking in this country? Come on fellow citizens, forget about race and status, all suffer under the hands of the cronies. If you are still sane, stop fighting each other! Rise up and fight the system and sack the cronies! For the sake of your children’s children.

  30. #30 by Educator on Tuesday, 29 May 2007 - 6:37 pm

    Econs 10x: How to cheat without being caught and fined:

    Iced drinks : Put in more ice
    Noodles : Put less noodle in big bowls
    Roti Canai : Make it smaller.
    Coffee : Use smaller cups and glass

    Consumers, eat your hearts out!

  31. #31 by WFH on Tuesday, 29 May 2007 - 7:02 pm

    In all fairness to the mamak restaurant stall owner, I think it would be honourable for Nestle Malaysia to step forward and pay the RM22,500 fine on behalf of the restaurant owner. See how much newspaper column cm (OK, I prefer column inches myself) space the report has generated for the brand Milo… and the mental retention of the Milo brand from such newspaper reports sure beat any promotion campaign which their media people can ever come out with.

    Luckily the restaurant, being non-Chinese, will not be as angered as a Chinese would be – the breaking of signboard … is BAD..!! Chak-pai !!! I wouldn’t have tolerated that… those enforcement fellas deserve a hard lesson they will never forget. How insensitive can they get..

    And talking of the RM750 worth of goods and drinks, bet there is no inventory of goods confiscated. That must be contrary to whatever SOP they should be having. If the restaurant owners ever wants the confiscated goods returned, he’ll have to be ready to literally take their shit!! As with bailiffs, whenever they do an inventory, things have a habit of not ending up listed on the inventory list after they have done their rounds.

  32. #32 by rm 0.02 on Tuesday, 29 May 2007 - 7:42 pm

    i wonder where they got such an odd figure of RM 22,500?

    let’s see what’s the next step the Ministry of Trade and Consumer Affairs will take after this…if they are serious, then we should be seeing more of this reports and if not, then it’s just business as usual in bolehland…

  33. #33 by ihavesomethingtosay on Tuesday, 29 May 2007 - 8:19 pm

    I’ve worked our some simple arithematic, (whew, sweat sweat……zzzzzzzz brain over worked)

    if 1.80 = 22,500 fine, every dollar is 12,500

    therefore :180,000,000 (that’s the overpaid sukoi, remember?)

    180,000,000 x 12,500 = 2,250,000,000,000

    hehehehehe, someone’s going to be very broke.

  34. #34 by undergrad2 on Tuesday, 29 May 2007 - 8:29 pm

    What have we become? A nation of toilet inspectors led by Idris Jusoh of ‘bidet’ fame and now this?

    Malaysia has always been known for its selective prosecution and lop-sided enforcement of its laws.

    It has little if anything to do with the Trade Description Act of 1972. It has everything to do with the need to make an example out of someone before retail prices spiral upwards as a result of the public sector salary increases due in July. The unsolicited honor in this particular case fell on the shoulders of one Hassan from the sleepy hollow that is rural Trengganu who ran a ‘mamak restaurant’. Apparently his definition as a Malay under the federal Constitution Article 160(2) did not save him. He may be a Muslim who speaks the Malay language and follows Malay customs but apparently he does not speak the same political language.

    What political leaders cannot acknowledge in public they do so privately i.e. nobody can do anything to stop a cost push inflation triggered by massive salary increases in the public sector. Again we do not need the likes of Stephen Friedman from Golden Sachs from Cornell University who served as President Bush’s economic adviser or of a Paul Krugman with a PhD from MIT to tell us that.

    It is the law of demand and supply – and of inflation being “too much money chasing after too few goods” said my economics teacher when I was doing my A-level economics.

    Is it too much to ask our leaders to listen to their teachers?

  35. #35 by ihavesomethingtosay on Tuesday, 29 May 2007 - 10:51 pm

    “On the specific case of the mamak restaurant in Kuala Terengganu, there is dispute about the facts – with the accusation on the one hand that it had overcharged about 20 sen to 30 sen more than the usual price and the defence by the 35-year-old operator of the restaurant in Jalan Hiliran, Kuala Terengganu that he had started charging RM1.80 for the drink ever since he started his business early this year and it had nothing to do with the recent civil servant salary increase.”

    Talk about overcharging, lynch the highway companies, lynch the bodohland f class contractors, lynch proton for overcharging us on defective power windows.

    4 basic things to bear in mind, rise in Material cost, Energy cost, overheads & labour cost, and financial factors will result in rise or goods and services.

    Malaysia is currently enjoying strong currency, ie used to be RM 3.80 to a dollar and now is RM 3.40 to a dollar, so it is cheaper for us to import goods and services, now we buy wheat, we buy coco, we buy milk from oversea, whilst labout and overheads remains unchange, theorectically things shuold be cheaper, gomen allows raise of flour, highway(loans are actually cheaper to pay), so why allows rise in basic goods such as milo, flour, and highway?

    gomen, you owe us an answer!

    you picked on En. Hassan to bully, shame on you!

    incidently, will you issued RM 225,000,000 to fast food joints? as they charge alot more for a smller cup of Ice Milo?

  36. #36 by akarmalaysian on Tuesday, 29 May 2007 - 11:33 pm

    the only way to deter any kind of corruption is to get rid of those corrupted ministers first.impose a heavy punishment on corruption..maybe like hanging them instead of fines.its impossible to fight corruption with the kind of government we are having.lets face it….we see corruption every where starting even at the top of ministerial level.so wat do u expect fr the lower cabinet and government offices?its those leaders that hv been setting these corrupted examples for the last…i dunno how many decades.”i scratch ur back…u scratch my back”…this is the finest example dats been happening among those dirty ministers in our government.

  37. #37 by smeagroo on Tuesday, 29 May 2007 - 11:34 pm

    Simple only. All the mamak shops just put a sleeping Bumi partner in there lo. Then surely kowtim already. Increase rm1 also no worries.

  38. #38 by ccjett on Wednesday, 30 May 2007 - 1:03 am

    why even an iced milo cannot simply given the rules of supply and demand (or price elasticity) to take over? have the enforcement officer nothing else to do?

    i really cannot understand.. especially given that i am graduate of economic study. a business in intense competition cannot fix their own price but on the other hand, most monopolies could (ie Astro, Tolls).

    dia mahal, pergi lah mamak lain.. bodoh nya officer

  39. #39 by art-upon-mu on Wednesday, 30 May 2007 - 2:39 am

    RM1.80 for a glass of iced milo is cheap. Many places in the country charge more than RM1.80 for a glass of sky juice (a high class name for H2O).

  40. #40 by burn on Wednesday, 30 May 2007 - 3:33 am

    some mamak makan stores do deserve it. but ofcourse, not to that extreme. should also check on chinese makan stores too. they are the same kaki.
    nowdays, more illegal makan stalls are being built in around wilayah persekutuan area. some are being protected because they are under persatuan penjajah penjajah bumiputra. they can easily built stores anywhere as they like, without bandaraya disturbing them. with this happening, it is not fair for other makan stores that rent shoplot legally to do their business.

    aku punya falsampah!

  41. #41 by DwarfSnakehead on Wednesday, 30 May 2007 - 4:34 am

    From experience, hawker stalls are well known of overcharging, especialy when you put a lot of meat and vege on your nasi campur and come in a big group. Depending on your race and how you dress, they may quote you a price like RM8.50. But when you ask them to break the price down, the breakdown sums usually will not tally with the total. Perhaps, the authority should go after such unscrupulous hawkers, not the RM1.80 milo hawker.

  42. #42 by smeagroo on Wednesday, 30 May 2007 - 8:24 am

    Just Change lifestyle! Now even Najib drinks Milo kurang manis. Not sure if bcos of diabetes or bcos tightening his belt. So would you rather pay RM1.80 for Iced Milo or Rm1.80 for a bottle of mineral water? If you think the price is too high just avoid that shop. Why cant for once we people show them that we can do without a cuppa for a month? Hit them where it hurts the most. They hv fixed expenses to pay. Rental, electricity, wages, etc. If they cannot tahan they will reduce the price again. Simple as that. I too hv moved from my favourite kopitiam to another one. We can make our own choices rite?

  43. #43 by madmix on Wednesday, 30 May 2007 - 10:57 am

    There are thousands of government contractors suppling all sorts of stuff to government departments, armed forces etc at enormous mark-ups. That is truly profiteering.
    I believe in this milo case, the price on the menu board was RM1.50 and the mamak sold at 1.80. If his menu price or the price written on the menu-board was RM8.00 and he charge RM8.00, then he has not commited an offence.

  44. #44 by Bobster on Wednesday, 30 May 2007 - 11:24 am

    In extreme case if Datuk Z lived in China, he could have been executed long time ago. If he was doing his monkey business in Singapore, he would have been sentenced to jail and fined heavily.

    Fortunately for him his ‘business’ is in this Bodohland. Built his satay stall on gomen land, carried out satay business for 10 yrs without license, building multi-million mansion on the land allocated for low cost housing and you-know-what he did in Klang Council in the past and still alive and kicking till to-date. This is the kind of system we have here in this country and AAB and gang can still preach out loud that nobody is above the law. Full of rubbish!

    Though Datuk Z has since stepped down from Klang Council (and irony is his name was also cleared by ACA), his son and daughter in law still sitting in the board room haunting Klang folks and sucking up their hard earned money. Pity to look at state of dilapidated Klang town and the number of potholes that you need to avoid every time I go there for bak kut teh.

  45. #45 by crosstalk on Wednesday, 30 May 2007 - 1:35 pm

    Can you imagine the head of the most advanced state in Malaysia,the ‘Toyo’ something proposed to all SRJC and SRJT(Chinese n Tamil primary schools respectively)to attend school in SRK in the morning and then go back to their respective schools to continue schooling in the afternoon?This proposal was not only absurd but also not practical.This is one of the many stupid public utterances made by our ‘leaders’.

  46. #46 by winc on Wednesday, 30 May 2007 - 2:24 pm

    “Terengganu Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh was full of praise for the high-handed enforcement action”

    I dont find it full of praise but pathetic.

    When there is a hike in toll, were we given the chance or opportunity to raise our concerns? Each time when they introduced new rates; at the same time will also introduce ultimatums that if you are not willing to pay then dont use the highway. Did they ever consult the public to secure feedback of their action? NO, they don’t! Can Idris Jusoh instruct his men to do the same to SV when the toll rates were increased and slap him with similar ratio of fine? If SV can tell the public that… if you are not willing to pay then dont use the highways… then i believe the same should apply to the restaurant operator that…. if you are not willing to pay RM1.80 then dont drink…

    Come-on Malaysia.

  47. #47 by greenacre on Wednesday, 30 May 2007 - 8:24 pm

    This ministry of trade and consumer affairs is also responsible for hire purchase deals. Indeed they have to have an officer called controller of hire purchase which is well mentioned in the Act. But try him and one will end up with all the anger in the world. In fact if you complain about a bank under this act to them (if it is a GLC bank more likely) they would give all sorts of excuses for not taking any action. Useless cows who want to milk the mamak.

  48. #48 by moong cha cha II on Thursday, 31 May 2007 - 1:59 am

    didnt know Milo is a controlled item.

    good thing my kopi-tiam is not in Terrenganu, mine is in Genting Highlands and I charge RM5.00 per Milo glass.

    come and penalise my if you dare.

  49. #49 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Thursday, 31 May 2007 - 8:58 am

    Malaysia will definitely crumble to the ground and end up a pariah nation if corruption continues unabated, helped by a corrupt government and Cabinet that pays lip service to fighting corruption but whose hands are soiled by the grubby lucre from bribery.

  50. #50 by Jimm on Thursday, 31 May 2007 - 9:27 am

    Those stalls in PLUS stopovers are selling a much higher price for beverages. In entertainment outlets, hotels and resort too. What the fuss about ? Everything comes with a price like SV used to comment. You want to have luxuries and comfort, you have to pay more.
    To me, it’s a roadshow of BN to shows that they do ‘care’ for rakyat. Won’t last for another month as the ‘bosses’ will demand them to stop ‘hurt’ their laundry shops… ha..ha …

  51. #51 by FuturePolitician on Thursday, 31 May 2007 - 10:03 am

    If we venture to mamak stalls quite often, you would see the munipical council people parked nearby to watch guard over the stall, making sure they do not put their tables and chairs at places where it shouldnt be.

    We all, know why it is happening,..Sometimes logic tells us, the store owner cant afford to “pay” them off. This is nothing new. You can see other mamak whom took up alley roads to place their tables and chairs..this mean more income. Some store owners has no choice but to “pay” and you dont see the municipal council people there “hawking” them.

    There are many incidents, money can be made easily for them because the growing cost of living and maintaining a business., we attempt to increase our business profitability by illegal activities or action.

    The milo incident could be a vengence call, to wipe out the owner since $$ cant be made from owner at all, and using the full facility of the council, their action would be backed by the ministry.

    LIKE I have emphasize so many times, WE NEED TO LOWER THE COST OF LIVING AND DOING BUSINESS! especially for petty traders or low volume traders.

  52. #52 by HJ Angus on Thursday, 31 May 2007 - 11:23 am

    If we are so upset about the petty trader adding a few sen to a cup of Milo that we can simply choose not to buy, why are we not incensed by the “bloated” civil service that is at least 60% overstaffed?

    With the recent pay hikes, we now incur an extra RM3.2 billion each year for the surplus workers.

    Now that is an amount that is worth fussing about. How many gallons of Milo is that going down the drain?

  53. #53 by i_love_malaysia on Thursday, 31 May 2007 - 2:20 pm

    I have been thinking why they are targeting at this particular Mamak restaurant and the answer could be that the enforcement officers came and makan there, ordering what ever they wanted and after big makan, they asked the owner just “masuk buku tiga lima” i.e. record the amount into 555 book!!! But refused by the owner as the officers not just makan there but also “tapau” for their colleagues. Do you know what is buku 555? it is a credit account book, but for these officers, they dont have any buku 555 there, it is the way they asked for free makan!!! I had seen no. of times traffic police officers & DBKL officers did this at the mamak stall that I frequented. Every time these officers left, the mamak stall boss just shake his head!!! what to do? where is justice? do you still remember it took a Deputy Minister to help to fight the MPAJ officer who asked for more from Steven’s Corner Restaurant chain, if not because the officer was asking more and more, I believe the restaurant would just give in. Could you recall another e.g. of masuk buku 555!!! sad case but it is happening every day in Malaysia!!

  54. #54 by DiaperHead on Sunday, 3 June 2007 - 1:28 am

    Contrary to what you chaps believe, I believe some amount of corruption is good. It acts like lubricant in the government machinery which is prone to stalling a lot lately.

  55. #55 by BoDo Singh on Sunday, 3 June 2007 - 7:40 am

    Yep. Who does not need some lubricant some time. Even the Fat Lady need some.

  56. #56 by accountability on Sunday, 3 June 2007 - 4:44 pm

    although the gangster officers are thugs – sorry, no sympathy for profiteering traders who raise prices at the ordinary rakyat’s expense!

    by the way, if they are so keen to arrest greedy profiteers, they should start with the toll concessionaires and the ministers who allowed it!

  57. #57 by FuturePolitician on Monday, 4 June 2007 - 10:05 am

    yes corruption is a lubricant for progress.but too much will drown the progress in lubricant.

    now those which doesnt need lubricant..wants them as well.

    We need to rediscuss the issue of Toll collection.. It is a big burden to the society! With high priced Fuel, the toll charges is just too high.

  58. #58 by khch01 on Saturday, 9 June 2007 - 4:37 pm

    A boy who stole RM4.70 from telephone booth was jailed 6 months, now the mamak was fined RM22500.00 for selling Milo at RM1.80. A warning should have been suffice in this instance. The enforcers like to go after the obedient citizens who have occasionally committed some oversights.

    What Winston said is very true, that the judicial system in this country is skewed towards the rich and well heeled.

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