Are Malaysia IT products cheap? Would IT costs increased?

Friday September 28, 2012
IT products too cheap, say retailers
By JO TIMBUONG bytz@thestar.com.my

KUALA LUMPUR: A large group of information technology retailers in the country is claiming that IT products, namely laptops, desktop computers and peripherals, are too cheap now. They said the pricing margins were very thin and their businesses won’t be able to survive unless the prices of the products were raised by between 12% and 15%.

The group claimed that the frequent number of IT trade fairs and the Government’s policy of handing out laptops to students were also taking a huge toll on their businesses. Their other grouses include price protection/rebate claims, stock commitments set by the product manufacturers, and a lack of representation by the National ICT Association (Pikom).

The group wants to form its own association of IT retailers to fight for its demands and safeguard its interests. Chin Boon Long, managing director of 1 Utopia Bhd in Petaling Jaya, mooted the idea of forming the breakaway association during a forum at a hotel in Kuala Lumpur.

The forum was attended by about 140 retailers, and more than 100 voiced their approval and signed a petition calling on other IT retailers nationwide to lend their support. There are some 5,000 IT retailers in the country, according to Pikom. Among the retailers who supported the move were Irene Sau, chairman of the Penang ICT Association; Kevin Chan, chairman of the Ipoh IT Association; and Simon Kong, vice-president of the Kuching Computer Business Association.

“Once the association is set up, it will seek to negotiate with the product manufacturers on the various issues,” said Chin. He also said having too many IT fairs was not good for retailers because people tend to wait for these fairs to come around. “And since there are so many fairs, they don’t have to wait long,” he added. The group said there were now nine IT fairs in the Klang Valley alone each year. They want it cut down to just three.

One retailer at the forum, who wanted to be known only as Johnson, expects the new association to force all IT retailers under its banner to adhere to fixed pricing.Pikom executive director Ong Kian Yew, who was at the forum, said Pikom was committed to taking on the issues raised by the retailers at its next council meeting in two weeks. This is not the first time that IT retailers have splintered from the national association.

In 2004, the ICT Science Association of Malaysia was formed by a group of disgruntled PC vendors who had disagreements with Pikom.
Source: The Star

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