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Various Measure were Taken to Stabilize the Vegetables Price in Malaysia
2021-11-29

Measures include control mechanism of necessaries price, unannounced inspections and financial assistance

  The prices are rising in Malaysia and it is reported that vegetable prices have soared by as much as 200%. The Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs will ensure that the prices of necessaries such as bread, vegetables, eggs, broiler chicken and oil are stabilized through specific mechanisms, and launch unannounced inspections across the country to prevent producers and wholesalers from seeking personal interests.

  According to Sin Chew Daily, Alexander Nanta Linggi, Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs, said in an interview with a current political program of the Malaysian National News Agency the night before yesterday that the Ministry had discussed the prices of commodities such as vegetables, chicken and eggs with the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industries, the Ministry of Finance and stakeholders, and had formulated policies to provide financial assistance to control costs of producers and wholesalers. He also said that the government will provide financial assistance to farmers to reduce their operating costs and therefore reduce the commodity prices.

 

Unannounced inspections of the national agricultural products distribution network were carried out to obtain information about the price rise of goods

  Ismail Sabri bin Yaakob, Prime Minster of Malaysia, said earlier that the government would allocate RM262 million (about 85 million SGD) to aid farmers hit by the rising prices of fertilizers and pesticides. The money will be use in agricultural product loans at zero interest rate, six-month loan repayment moratorium, subsidies and rice subsidies.

  Rosol Wahid, Vice Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs, said that the law enforcement officers of the Ministry had carried out inspections on all agricultural product distribution networks across the country the day before yesterday, including suppliers, wholesalers and retailers of vegetables. So far, they have issued about 100 notices to ask for information about the price rise of goods and prevent profiteering.

  In Penang, the authorities launched 47,578 investigations, of which 373 involved violations of the Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act 2011, and issued fines totalling RM46,850.

  In response to the heated debate over the price of RM18 for a pickled fish fried with Chinese broccoli for one person at a restaurant in Kepala Batas of North Seberang Perai District of Penang, the Penang Bureau of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs urged the victim to come forward and provide more detailed information.

  According to Malaysian media reports, due to soaring global prices and hoarding for speculation, coupled with the decline in the value of the Malaysian dollar against the US dollar, the agricultural food industry were forced to raise prices, and some retailers and wholesalers arbitrarily raised prices in order to make up for the losses suffered from the implementation of Movement Control Order in response to the COVID-19 pandemic last year.

  The president of the Consumers Association of Sepang and Shah Alam in Selangor told the Utusan Malaysia that due to the lack of salary adjustment, low-income groups must face heavy living pressure. The government must set up a special task force to control prices and help the people get through the difficult situation. He said that to deal with inflation, the minimum monthly salary must be adjusted to RM2,700 instead of RM1,200 for now.

  The chairman of Kuala Lumpur Consumer Safety Association, believes that consumers should expose vendors' unreasonably high prices and ask the relevant authorities to carry out investigations in order to curb profiteering.

  Lim Guan Eng, Secretary General of the opposition Democratic Action Party and Member of Parliament of Bagan, Penang, issued a message saying: "Malaysians have never seen the prices of daily necessaries such as eggs, chicken, bread, vegetables and even ice soar to such a high level, or even soar to the highest level in memory, far higher than the level when the Alliance of Hope (Pakatan Harapan) was in power, which has seriously weakened the people's purchasing power."

  Yesterday, the National Trust Party (Parti Amanah Negara) mobilized its supporters to carry out flash mobs in 14 locations throughout Malaysia, including near SOGO shopping plaza in Kuala Lumpur, to protest against rising prices.

  Nieadu Lhasa, head of the Party's Youth League, said they were forced to take to the streets to protest because of the high cost of living. He said, "Although COVID-19 cases are still rising high and we should have avoided clustering, we still hold flash mobs all over the country."

 

The Vegetable Growers Association of Cameron Highlands urged the authorities to face up to the shortage of workers

  In addition, the general secretary of the Vegetable Growers Association of Cameron Highlands called on the government to face up to the shortage of workers. He said that the local 2000 vegetable growers were seriously short of labour. Even if the farmers increased their monthly salary by 30% to RM1,800, it was still difficult to hire workers.

  He also said that since the government stopped the employment of foreign workers in 2018, the planting industry and construction industry have also faced the problem of labour shortage. Now, after the recovery of economy and the foreign worker recruitment was allowed, various industries are competing to raise wages for employing foreign workers.