KUCHING: Low number of consumer-related complaints suggests that consumer rights awareness is still at a minimum among the people of Sarawak.

In a statement by Consumer Voice Association of Sarawak (Covas) president Michael Tiong, the association is only receiving two to three consumer complaints here per week whilst the rest of the state is receiving only 10 to 20 complaints per year.

The numbers are significantly lower when compared to Malaya — receiving over one thousand complaints per week.

Michael believes that it shows most Sarawakians are yet to be aware of the dangers of trader misconduct or fraudulence.

He added that the main consumer complaints now are regarding ‘dating scams’.

“These scammers will actually entice and lead people to believe that these ‘digital lovers’ actually exist. Then, they will ask people to transfer money to them.

“They will take advantage of consumers who don’t know their rights. So, the only way for people to not be fooled by these scams is to get information from related government departments in order to protect themselves from being scammed and cheated,” said Tiong.

Tiong said this when met by reporters after attending the closing ceremony of the Sarawak Consumer Expo 2020 programme at Vivacity Megamall here, yesterday.

Formed in 2012, the purpose of Covas is to uphold consumers’ rights in Sarawak. The consumer association is solely based in Sarawak where it collaborates with various government departments, authorities, and agencies.

Covas serves as an intermediary between consumers and related governmental agencies.