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KUCHING, June 21: The Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP) held an engagement and dialogue session on price and supply issues to brief industry players and consumer associations about the inflation situation in Malaysia.
According to a press release issued by KPDNHEP today, its Deputy Minister Datuk Rosol Wahid, was present, as were representatives from other ministries including the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industries (MAFI), Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI), Ministry of Transport (MOTM), Ministry of Education (MOE), Ministry of Health (MOH), Ministry of Housing and Local Government (MHLG), Ministry of Communications and Multimedia (KKMM), Ministry of Human Resources (MOHR), and Department of Statistics Malaysia.
Academics, economists, and media editors-in-chief were among those in attendance, in addition to industry players and consumer associations.
“Malaysia has an open market and relies heavily on imports, with food imports expected to reach RM63.6 billion in 2021.
“Food inflation increased to 4.1 per cent in April 2022, followed by restaurants and hotels (3.2 per cent), transportation (3 per cent), housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuels (0.8 per cent ).
“Other factors that contribute to rising food prices include unpredictable weather, rising fertiliser prices, logistics costs, and a lack of energy resources,” KPDNHEP said.
As per the ministry, the government is currently controlling the ceiling prices of chicken and eggs to help ease the increase in the price of goods, but such actions have resulted in market and price distortions.
“After taking into account all relevant factors and foreign practices, the ceiling price control of chicken and eggs, as well as the pure cooking oil subsidy for bottle packaging packs (2kg, 3kg, and 5kg), will be discontinued on July 1, 2022.
“This action is intended to ensure that the supply of food material in the market is more stable, allowing prices to stabilise in the long run,” KPDNHEP stated.
The ministry said the engagement and dialogue session receives positive feedback and suggestions from attendees.
“Among the issues raised was the issue of rising commodity prices, which affected consumers.
“The issues raised in the discussion included proposals to increase consumer awareness and change consumer behaviour in the face of rising prices; the issue of labour shortages in the distribution trade sector, which is becoming increasingly critical and increasing operating costs; and the industry’s commitment to work with the government to ensure that consumers get reasonable and stable prices and supplies of essential goods, particularly chicken,” KPDNHEP explained.
“The ministry will continue to increase its efforts to alleviate people’s burdens and will not hesitate to enforce existing laws under the Ministry’s jurisdiction, such as the Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act 2011 (AKHAP) and the Control of Supplies Act 1961 (AKB), to ensure that price issues and supply are always under control,” the ministry added. — DayakDaily