28th March 2023 - 2 min read
The Economy Ministry has announced a collaboration with local organisation KitaJaga to update its existing KitaJaga app with a new price watch feature, enabling consumers to compare the prices of grocery items from stores and supermarkets in their vicinity.
Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli said that this new feature on the KitaJaga app – a community-driven platform – is aimed at helping consumers to shop smarter and make better purchasing decisions by comparing prices before actually buying something. He also clarified that the feature taps into open-source data from the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM), through the OpenDOSM website that was launched in the previous month.
Briefly, OpenDOSM is described as “a platform that catalogues, visualises, and analyses DOSM’s wealth of data”. Members of the public can actually access and download various information – such as commodity and consumer prices, exchange rates, and household income and expenditure – for free on their own, either as raw datasets, tables, or charts.
“Actually, this price data has been around for a long time, but it was not widely used. Now the price data (which is) available on the first platform is used by KitaJaga,” Rafizi further said, adding that his ministry has plans to work with other e-commerce stakeholders to expand the existing price-checking capability so that consumers can further acquaint themselves with price comparisons based on complete data. However, they decided to start with price comparison between groceries first because most price hikes happen in this category.
Rafizi also reiterated that his ministry’s effort should not be viewed as a call for the public to only buy cheap goods. “This does not mean the rakyat must purchase cheap goods, but such application would serve as a benchmark in the course of their purchase while encouraging a data-driven mindset among society,” he stated.
The KitaJaga platform was first rolled out by a team of developers during the Covid-19 pandemic, aimed at assisting Malaysians who were in need of aid when the movement control order (MCO) was enforced. The non-profit charity platform also rolled out several campaigns to encourage or reward its volunteers, such as the KitaJaga non-fungible token (NFT) campaign. You can download the KitaJaga app from Google Play and the App Store.
(Sources: Malay Mail, BusinessToday)
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