Face mask is now listed as price controlled item

Face mask is now listed as price controlled item

The Government will control the retail price of surgical masks sold at exorbitant rates while the Health Ministry vows stricter enforcement against people who fail to wear masks if they have flu-like illnesses.

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the Government would make the single-pry surgical mask as a price-controlled item indefinitely during the current Influenza A(H1N1) pandemic.

He said the item only costs 30 sen each but some people were selling it for RM5 per piece because of the pandemic.

“Selling surgical masks at exorbitant prices during a pandemic is like mencekik darah (squeezing blood from customers),” he said.

“Under the Price Control Act 1946, we can include face mask as a price-controlled item in the context of a health emergency,” he told newsmen at the Permatang Pasir by-election nomination centre here yesterday.

Muhyiddin said the ruling would be imposed on producers, distributors and retailers of masks, adding that they should also ensure there were adequate supply of masks.