KUALA LUMPUR, March 30 — The government has reduced the ceiling price for three-ply surgical face masks from RM2 to RM1.50 a piece, Senior Defence Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced today.
He noted that most face masks in Malaysia are imported and, as such, the government is tied to the import prices.
“We will continue to review these prices over time. If it appears that the purchase price has already dropped, we may be able to review it, and announce a new price,” he said to media.
“KPDNHEP (Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry) has not set a ceiling price for hand sanitisers, as they are of different brands. Prices may vary by brand; some are imported, some locally sourced. So far, there are no price controls like for face masks,” he added.
The Malaysian Dental Association (MDA) previously urged the government not to reverse the ceiling price of the three-ply surgical face mask from RM2 per unit to the earlier 80 sen limit to ensure continued supply during the Covid-19 epidemic.
MDA said private dentists have been severely depleted of face mask supplies since last month amid the coronavirus outbreak, citing its survey this month that found more than 40 per cent of private dental clinics had less than one month’s supply.
“With the recent revision of the three-ply face mask ceiling price to RM2 per piece, the dental industry has only now managed to source for additional face masks.
“It is still a far cry from being able to replenish sufficient supply to ensure that we can carry on our services safely for the benefit of the public,” MDA explained.