THE government must ensure face masks are affordable if it wants to make wearing them in public areas mandatory, says Federation of Malaysian Consumers Associations (Fomca).
Commenting on the prime minister’s special address on Monday in which he said the government was considering making mask usage compulsory, Fomca president Marimuthu Nadason said should this be implemented, the government must cap mask prices low enough that it would not be a burden to people.
“I believe this (making it mandatory for people to wear masks in public places) is the right measure to take, so that it becomes a habit for us.
“The only problem is that the government needs to control the prices of masks and ensure they are cheap, for example 50 sen or RM1 each,” Marimuthu was quoted by China Press as saying in its report yesterday.
He explained if masks are cheap, everyone will buy and use them or distribute them. On the contrary, if masks are expensive, even companies will not provide them free as it would mean an extra burden to them, he said.
The ceiling price of face masks has been fixed at RM1.50 each since April.
Last Saturday, Health Minister Datuk Seri Adham Baba disclosed that the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs minister is expected to announce the new ceiling price of masks on Aug 10.
Marimuthu said the government must also make sure that all face masks produced domestically are of good quality.
Whether there would be a shortage of face masks, he said it would not be so, as manufacturers are operating at full capacity.
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