Monday, May 28, 2007

I, Consumer

The next time the price of sugar goes up, I am going to boycott sugar. Same goes with chicken. I will boycott chicken. And if the price of cooking oil goes up, I'll just boil my food.
I want to make a statement, a real tough one that I cannot be bullied by the likes of food suppliers.
I am serious about what I will do in such circumstances.
I, however, have no illusion that I can be as serious as a militant bra-burning feminist of a bygone era, and I am virtually alone in this consumer crusade.
Will you join me? Yeah, thought so. See, I am all alone. So, I might as well forget fighting price increases.
A hike in petrol prices? Boycott petrol? Not a good idea.
I tried boycotting certain tolled roads and was quite successful until one day I was in a desperate hurry and didn't think, and ended up using a tolled road whose rates had been increased.
So what brought about this topic of boycott and price increase?
Well, it was a question (or two) that BigDog (the blogger) posed to me a few hours ago.
"Why are Malaysian consumers so weak and allow themselves to be bullied by food suppliers?"
"Why do they accept price increases without a fight and expect the government to help control prices?"
BigDog thinks that there are just too many goods that come under "essential items" and "controlled prices" categories.
He thinks that Malaysians accept price increases without a fight so much so that suppliers can so easily bully them by increasing prices at will.
"Why don't we boycott the goods or foodstuff? Just don't buy them and scare the suppliers", he remarked.
I'm with you on this one, brother.
BigDog says in Britain, food suppliers dare not increase the prices for fear of consumer boycott.
You don't see that happening here, he laments.
He's right. People here must have their coffee with sugar, their fried chicken and, oh, all those essential items. So, the government must help control the prices.
So. Yes, I am alone in this.
Read BigDog's take on the lot of Malaysian consumers here.


BigDogDotCom said...

We always talk and remind ourselves about being democratic people in a democratic country.

And yet we fail to exercise our basic 'democratic' right, which is the power of consumerism.

We eat and consume products and goods everyday. And yet we depend on Govt agencies like Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer to fight our battles?

Why aren't we fight the producers ourselves and exercise our right as consumers?

Are we too complacent and obtuse? Is that why we are bullied all the time?

zewt said...

i have been trying to get my colleagues to stay together... dont stay late... let us all make a stand and leave work within 30 minutes from the end of the official working hours. if we are working too hard... the company should employ more... will my colleagues listen... do they dare to stand up for their right?

it's not only consumers nuraina... it's everything... it's us... it's malaysians.

Azham Shah said...

That's just the way it is, ma'am. We'd get used to everything. We are built that way. You can live without sugar for a week, or cooking oil, flour, or eggs. But you won't be able to go on without them for more than a month, unless you are built that way.

People get used to cod liver oil. Or bitter stuff like beer which is not exactly delicious. But people get used to it. We are built that way.

Kata Tak Nak said...

I agree 100 % with this Malaysian malady. Heck we wouldn't even want to car pool to save our lives. One more thing about what is affecting us is, our enforcement leaves very much to be desired. Then there is the AP thing. APs are monopolised. When there is monopoly then of course we would be at the mercy of these importers.

Nagadragon said...

Unfortunately, this is the state of affairs in Malaysia. I believe it is time that with the help of "Bloggers United", we should encourage malaysians to be more active consumers and fight for our rights. We just need to do it once, for eg. boycott the Roti-Canai sellers just for one month. Stop eating roti-canai for one month and then you will see the result. Thereinafter, before anyone increase prices indiscriminately, they will consider the ramification of their actions. So Bloggers United, how about starting the campaign

Elly said...

Hmmm...I wonder why people complain about a 10-20 sen increase in the price of teh tarik and roti canai, yet nobody make a noise about the overpriced coffee & ice-blended stuff at Starbucks, Coffee Bean, Dome, et al at the first place.

And the weirder thing is, it seems that these pricey coffee outlets seem to be fully crowded most of the time!! So, I guess more and more Malaysians are able to afford such "luxury" nowadays...In fact, I personally know a few people who would simply DIE if they don't get their daily caffeine fix from Starbucks!

For me, a slight raise in the price of daily necessities (i.e. foodstuff)- which is still within reasonable limit - is still okay. After all, an increase in our so-called standard of living does come with a price, right?

If eating out is too pricey, why not bawa bekal or tapau home-cooked food instead? It's a much healthier option and more economical. And for the Muslims, perhaps they can also berpuasa (fasting) sunat on Mondays and Thursdays - pahala dapat, badan sihat, duit pun jimat, he!he!

Rather than seeing the current situation as a crisis, why not we see it as an opportunity?

Just my own personal thought-lah:-)