A total of 88,600 inspections were conducted on business premises and retail outlets nationwide since the Goods and Services Tax (GST) came into force on April 1 until yesterday.

Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Seri Hasan Malek said of that total, 218 cases were recorded.

"We have conducted 152 integrated inspections with Royal Malaysian Customs Department via 'Ops Pematuhan GST Catut' (Anti-Profiteering GST Compliance Operation).

"During the period, a total of 535 notices under Section 21 of the Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act 2011 were issued to traders for clarification and justification on the cause of unreasonable price hikes," he said during the question and answer session at the Dewan Negara, here today.

He was replying to a question by Senator Toh Puan Zaitun Mat Amin, on the effectiveness of the phase two Anti-Profiteering Operation.

Hasan said if the traders failed to provide reasons and were found guilty of violating the rules specified, the ministry would take action, including seizing their goods, imposing penalties or prosecuting them in the special court that handles cases related to GST.