Legal Affairs Bureau (DSAJ) Director Cheong Weng Chon told a press conference Thurday that a public consultation period on the review of consumer rights legislation is now underway and will go on until August 12.
Cheong said the primary objective of consulting the public was to improve Macau’s business environment. He pointed out that existing laws on the protection of consumers’ interests and their rights have been in place for over 20 years, adding that some of the articles may be out-of-date and needed to be amended in order to prevent unfair commercial trade, such as price fixing.
He also said that one of the reasons that prices of everyday products in Macau are so high is that the products have to go through various middlemen before reaching the retailers.
He admitted that under the existing laws it is hard for the authorities to obtain relevant information on a product’s wholesale and retail price, making it difficult to determine if sellers have been dishonest in their business activities.
Cheong said the aim was to give the Consumer Council more powers to put an end to instances of businesses ripping off customers, adding that the government was considering tougher penalties for such malpractices. He said the government also plans to simplify the arbitration process, while it also plans to regulate specific business activities – such as online shopping and mail orders – to better protect consumers’ interests.
Cheong said his bureau would draft a bill after the consultation period ends and hopes the drafting can be finished as soon as possible.
To become law, the bill would have to be passed by the Legislative Assembly (AL).(macaunews/macaupost)