PUTRAJAYA: The government will control the prices of 13 high-demand food items for 16 days from Jan 23 to Feb 3 for the coming Chinese New Year, which falls on Jan 28. Domestic Trade, Cooperatives, and Consumerism (KPDNKK) Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin urged all traders to follow the set prices and consumers to spend their money wisely. "I urge all traders to obey these instructions and be ethical in conducting their business, and consumers to be responsible and to know their rights," Hamzah told a press conference today. He said the prices are the same as last year's Chinese New Year and it was set after consulting with traders, retailers, farmers, consumers and other relevant stakeholders. Hamzah said the prices will apply in 89 districts in Peninsular Malaysia, 32 districts in Sarawak, 27 districts in Sabah and one district in Labuan. It will be enforced under the Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act and those who sell above the price ceiling are liable to fines of up to RM100,000 and compounds up to RM50,000 for individual traders. For companies, a much heavier penalty of RM500,000 in fines and RM250,000 in compounds can be expected for the same offence. Hamzah said the ministry's enforcement officers will be stationed in high-traffic areas such as wet markets and supermarkets to ensure compliance. He said the ministry will also be receiving assistance from Friends of KPDNKK, Rela, Consumer Squads, village chiefs, and community leaders to monitor the price of goods. Meanwhile, Hamzah said the current inflation rate is stabilised between 2% and 2.1% and also announced that the government will be releasing guidelines to ensure the quality and standards of certain products. Some of the products under scrutiny include toys, batteries, phones and powerbanks. Multiple government agencies are currently working on it. Hamzah did not give an estimated date of release and explained that product testing takes time, as do formulating guidelines for them.