KR1M comeback: Expert offers reforms to ensure success

03 Oct 2023 11:36am
Pix for illustration purpose only. - FILE PIX by Bernama
Pix for illustration purpose only. - FILE PIX by Bernama

PUTRAJAYA - Expert have welcomed the proposal to re-establish shops offering lower prices using the 1Malaysia People's Shop (KR1M) concept but have urged the government to implement it carefully and avoid populist or political motives.

Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Economics and Muamalat Dr Mohd Faisol Ibrahim said that such shops should aim to improve people's well-being by offering affordable essential goods.

"If it is to be implemented, several reforms need to be made, taking into account the weaknesses of KR1M in the past," he told Sinar yesterday.

Among other things, he said that such shops must have items cheaper than other stores, be located strategically, and be friendly to the lower-income groups.

He also stressed the need to ensure that only local citizens benefit from these shops.

"Shops that sell essential goods at low prices will attract foreigners in this country. If not curbed, it will harm the country and its people," he said.

Mohd Faisol also suggested that a special committee be established to monitor these shops to ensure compliance with the established regulations.

He said that the special committee could consist of representatives from industries involved in community service programs (CSR), economists, consumer associations, and ministry representatives.

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He also urged the government to present a strategy to ensure the long-term sustainability of these shops.

"Many supermarkets and other shops are also offering low prices now, so this initiative needs to consider competitive strategies to ensure its long-term viability," he said.

Previously, Umno Youth Chief, Dr Muhammad Akmal Saleh suggested that the Unity Government led by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim reintroduce the KR1M concept.

KR1M was launched in 2011 by former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak with the aim of reducing the burden on the people while helping to market products from local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

It aimed to sell various daily goods at prices 30 to 50 per cent cheaper than market prices.

KR1M had 185 branches nationwide until it was temporarily closed in September 2017.

It is understood that the closure was related to the government's announcement to terminate the contract of KR1M operator, Mydin Mohamed Holdings Bhd (Mydin), for allegedly selling goods at higher prices than the market.

KR1M was then transformed into KR1M 2.0 with improvements and launched in early February 2018 but was discontinued after the change of government following the 14th General Election.