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Monday, October 25, 2004
The One With Malaysian Math (part 2) 

Hypermarkets Told To Round Up Prices To Overcome One Sen 'Shortage'

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 24 (Bernama) -- Hypermarkets should round up prices of their products if they do not have enough one sen coins for change rather than shortchange customers, Domestic Trade and Consumers Affairs Minister Datuk Shafie Apdal said Sunday.

He said the 99-sen figure was a popular sales gimmick to entice consumers into believing that the prices of goods were low.

"I don't see this as a problem to them. They can always round up the figure if they don't have enough one sen coins and it is a better way," Shafie told reporters during a visit to the Mutiara Damansara Tesco Hypermarket, here.

The one sen issue was raised last week when irritated hypermarket customers wrote to local newspapers claiming they were being shortchanged by the cashiers.

Tesco Stores (M) Sdn Bhd Chief Executive Officer James McCann, who was with Shafie, said there was a shortage of one sen coins at the bank on Oct 15.

"We did try to get enough one sen coins but the bank did not have enough coins. The other hypermarkets, I was told, also faced the same problem," he said.

McCann said that to overcome the one sen problem, the hypermarket cashiers had been told to give out five sen coins instead if there was a shortage of one sen coins.

Shafie said he was satisfied with the prices at the hypermarket.

I heard this news over Mix.fm this very morning.. It took me until this evening to find the original source..

Hmmm.. I understand crystal-clearly with Mr. McCann statement, but slightly confused Domestic Trade and Consumers Affairs minister's to round up their prices? "Hypermarkets should round up prices of their products if they do not have enough one sen coins for change rather than shortchange customers".. ermm... so a 99-sen product should be selling at RM1? RM92.45 rounded up to RM93? Hmmm.. that's sure damn a lot of money.. Instead of being shortchanged of one or two cents; which happen rarely, (which never happen to me, so far), the minister asked hypermarkets to round all price up? Is that what he meant by that? Can anybody explain to me on this?

If what he meant is equal to what I understood, then he just reminded me to a redneck joke below :

Redneck Wins the Lottery
A Redneck buys a ticket and wins the lottery. He goes to Austin to claim it where the man verifies his ticket number.

The Redneck says, "I want my $20 million."

To which the man replied, "No sir. It doesn't work that way. We give you a million today, and then you'll get the rest spread out for the next 19 years.

The Redneck said, "I want all my money RIGHT now! I won it, and I want it."

Again the man patiently explains that he would only get a million that day and the rest during the next 19 years.

The Redneck, furious with the man, screams out, "Look, I WANT MY MONEY!! If you're not going to give me my $20 million right now, THEN I WANT MY DOLLAR BACK!''

"I know that you are stupid, but I never know that you are THAT stupid..."

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