Govt adopting caution in response to global developments affecting rising prices, food supply, says PM

Ismail Sabri delivers his congratulatory speech at the investiture ceremony of federal awards and honours in conjunction with the official birthday of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong at Istana Negara in Kuala Lumpur today (June 6, 2022).

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KUCHING, June 6: Prime Minister Dato Sri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the government is taking a cautious approach to recent global developments, particularly the issue of food supply and rising food prices, which have impacted the well-being of “Keluarga Malaysia” (Malaysian Family).

According to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Department, he said this today in his congratulatory speech at the investiture ceremony of federal awards and honours in conjunction with the official birthday of Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah at Istana Negara in Kuala Lumpur.

Ismail Sabri noted the Asian region and other regions of the world were not spared the impact of the economic crisis due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine conflict, and the global supply chain was also impacted, resulting in an increase of more than 30 per cent in food prices worldwide.

He said that in order to address the economic crisis caused by the pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the government has devised some short-term measures to stabilise food supplies and prices.

“The short-term measures are the abolishment of the approved permit (AP) requirement for importing foodstuffs, the imposition of a ban on the export of chicken, the channelling of financial assistance directly to the people, particularly the B40 group beginning July 1, the establishment of the Agrofood Fund with an allocation of RM500 million through soft loans to industry players, and the creation of buffer stocks for chicken, meat, and fish to ensure adequate food supply,” he elaborated.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister also said that the government will ensure that matters involving trade industry players and investors are facilitated and the civil service delivery system is improved.

“During the first quarter of 2022, foreign direct investment recorded a net inflow of RM24.4 billion from RM18.4 billion in the fourth quarter of last year.

“Total trade expanded by 23.6 per cent to RM624.9 billion, while net foreign fund inflow remained steady at RM7.4 billion to-date,” he added.

The Prime Minister also praised the government’s efforts to revitalise the post-pandemic economy, noting that they are bearing fruit and gaining traction, and that the country’s economy grew by 3.1 per cent in 2021 compared to a 5.6 per cent contraction the previous year.

“The government is determined to drive the economy to a projected growth rate of between 5.3 per cent and 6.3 per cent this year,” he said.

Additionally, Ismail Sabri pointed out that the reopening of the border has also boosted economic recovery efforts, particularly in the tourism sector, which has seen an increase in the number of foreign visitors.

“This year, up to two million foreign visitors are expected to visit Malaysia, contributing up to RM8.6 billion to the national economy,” he said. — DayakDaily