Be vigilant, says consumer group as courier sector records RM2.77b transactions due to more online buying

Malaysia’s postal and courier sector recorded RM2.77 billion worth of transactions last month – a 41 per cent growth in market capitalisation since April – thanks to the increase in demand from eCommerce and online marketplaces.

The trend, according to the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), is expected to continue until the end of the year.

However, Federation of Malaysian Consumers Associations (Fomca) said consumers were still being duped by unscrupulous sellers. It urged the government to come down hard on those who ignore redressals to protect the rights of buyers.

Fomca chief executive officer Datuk Paul Selvaraj said non-delivery of items, products of inferior quality and a poor redressal process have been issues plaguing consumers for a long time.

“But the new reality is that more people are going online. It is convenient but there are also inevitable risks,” said Selvaraj.

“Consumers must be educated about the risks.”

MCMC, in its monthly bulletin published today, revealed the postal and courier industry players are seeing a higher than usual courier volume even after the easing of movement restrictions and this trend is expected to continue throughout the rest of the year.

“In 2Q 2020, monthly web visits for the top three merchants in Malaysia (Shopee, Lazada, and PG Mall) rose by 42 per cent compared with 1Q 20201,” read its August bulletin which was made public today.

Selvaraj said it was important to have a complaint mechanism strict enforcement by the authorities.

“Some of the major players are registered entities and they do address complaints. But we also have consumers purchasing from unregistered players which makes it difficult to trace.”

He said the sale of pirated and imitation goods online platforms is still rampant.

“Onsite or online, it boils down to enforcement or the lack of it.

“More importantly, we must look at consumer safety. There must be a need to promote standards … that the products sold are of a certain standard.

“Of course there are many products in the market but let’s take face masks for example. You can buy online or offline but are the masks really protecting you? Are they of a certain standard? What’s the use of wearing masks if the masks are not protecting us?

“It boils down to standards and quality of the product,” he added.

Selvaraj said consumers were able to seek assistance from third parties like the National Consumer Complaints Centre if they are unhappy with the products purchased.

“Redressal systems are crucial. Some companies have effective redressal systems that see immediate feedback and that’s fine.

“But if the company fails to address an issue or ignores the redressal process, then stern action must be taken,” he added.

Here’s a round-up of The News Normal today.

MACC FAILS IN BID TO FORFEIT RM700,000 FROM PEKAN UMNO

The Kuala Lumpur High Court today dismissed Malaysian Anti-Corruption’s (MACC) forfeiture application against Pekan Umno for RM700,000 allegedly linked to 1Malaysia Development Bhd.

Judicial Commissioner Datuk Ahmad Shahrir Mohd Salleh said the court found that on the balance of probabilities, the commission had not succeeded in providing the requirements under Section 56 of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act to have the RM700,000 in Pekan Umno’s account forfeited.

SYED SADDIQ REGISTERS NEW PARTY MUDA

Malaysia sees the birth of another political party as talk of a general election to be held soon heightens.

Muar MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman registered Malaysia United Democratic Alliance (Muda) with the Registrar of Societies. Earlier this morning, Syed Saddiq, who was on BFM, said he was optimistic the multiracial party can win the trust of all Malaysians despite doubts by certain quarters, including his former boss Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

AZLAN’S FORMULA: MORE LOCAL GAMES, BUBBLE TRAVEL TOUR FOR SQUASH

Malaysian squash players could be looking at more local tournaments to ensure they don’t lose out on points as tight border controls and Covid-19 fears continue to disrupt the world sporting calendar.

Newly appointed Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia (SRAM) deputy president Azlan Iskandar also revealed he would moot a bubble travel tour.