Government to strengthen consumer protection laws in Singapore

(From left) Neo Kah Kiat, WAF vice-chairman, Teo Ser Luck, Minister of State for Trade and Industry and Chan Chong Beng, WAF chairman, jointly launching the Workforce Advancement Federation.
(From left) Neo Kah Kiat, WAF vice-chairman, Teo Ser Luck, Minister of State for Trade and Industry and Chan Chong Beng, WAF chairman, jointly launching the Workforce Advancement Federation. PHOTO: WORKFORCE ADVANCEMENT FEDERATION

SINGAPORE - The Government is thinking about strengthening the Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act through various measures, including appointing an agency within the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) to gather evidence against errant retailers.

It completed its review of the Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act last month and will conduct a public consultation of the recommended changes later this year, said Minister of State for Trade and Industry Teo Ser Luck on Monday after a walkabout in Rivervale Plaza.

Errant retailers who have previously had court orders made against them will have to notify customers about it, even if they open a new business under a different name. This will help act as a deterrent to those who carry out unfair sales practices, said Mr Teo.

The agency within MTI will work closely with the Consumers Association of Singapore to take action against errant retailers, he said.

The review of the act was carried out after the issue of unfair sales practices was raised last year by an incident in Sim Lim Square which made local and international headlines. A video of a Vietnamese tourist begging a shopkeeper in the electronics mall for a refund had gone viral.

Sim Lim Square, Lucky Plaza and People's Park Complex are malls here with a high number of complaints made against them.

Mr Teo said that the ministry is aiming to table the bill in Parliament by next year.