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KR1M back on its feet

  • It is hoped that the revived KR1M 2.0 will pick up a lesson from past mistakes and not to go down the same old path of failure.

Sin Chew Daily

The government plans to resurrect Kedai Rakyat 1Malaysia (KR1M) that has been out of business for over three months, by introducing KR1M 2.0 to provide affordable merchandise for the people.

To many Malaysians struggling under smothering financial burden, this is indeed a big relief. However, the government must also pick up a lesson from its past mistakes in running KR1M so that the same destiny will not befall KR1M 2.0 again.

PM Najib announced the establishment of KR1M in June 2011, claiming that prices of goods were 30-40% lower than market prices in providing affordable day-to-day necessities to low-income urban families while helping local SMEs promote their products.

Indeed KR1M was doing quite well during the initial phase, offering consumers an affordable alternative. Nevertheless, problems began to pop up later, including poor quality products and higher-than-market prices of goods sold at its outlets.

Being backed by the government, KR1M's business should have prospered. In reality, though, KR1M's business began to slide as a result of mismanagement and other irregularities despite a reasonable showing initially.

It is hoped that the revived KR1M 2.0 will pick up a lesson from past mistakes and not to go down the same old path of failure.

It looks now that the modus operandi of KR1M 2.0 has indeed been upgraded and improved. From what we understand, KR1M 2.0 will no longer focus on its own house brand products, but will sell other brands of products at more competitive prices. Such a model should offer better protection to KR1M while allowing the public to gain access to reliable goods at more affordable rates in line with the government's objective of setting up KR1M shops.

Besides, KR1M 2.0 will not open new outlets as it did in the past but will make use of existing KK Mart and TMG Mart storefronts. The government has previously set aside RM106.37 million to set up 185 KR1M shops nationwide, and with new shops no longer required under the new plan, the government can look forward to a substantial cost saving.

It is indeed good that KR1M 2.0 helps relieve the financial burden of Malaysians through the provision of quality products at affordable prices. However, the government and the relevant parties must ensure its effective implementation and management.

In addition to KR1M 2.0, the government should also map out long-term strategies to promote agricultural development in the country so as to ensure self sufficiency in daily necessities and food products to keep prices stable.

 

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