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KUCHING, April 28: Bintulu MP Dato Seri Tiong King Sing has urged the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP) to come forward and address the issue of the rising price of goods in rural areas, which he claims are two to three times the price of goods sold in the city.
This was despite the government allocating more than RM100 million per year to address the issue, he said.
According to Tiong, the government has already allocated more than RM100 million per year to provide transportation allowances and quotas for essential supplies in Sarawak’s interior, such as rice, cooking oil, flour, sugar, gas barrels, diesel fuel, petrol, and other necessities.
“When I went to the longhouses in the hinterland today, many residents complained that the prices of necessities in their area are constantly rising and have recently reached all-time highs.
“Even more so in the post-pandemic era, many people are still struggling to get by and now have to bear the burden of high commodity prices, which, of course, affects the people.
“So, I’d like to know, where do the government’s subsidies end up? Why do some longhouse residents have to pay up to two to three times the price sold in urban areas?” he said in a Facebook post today.
He went on to say that in order to ensure that the price of essential goods in rural areas is consistent across the country, the government must assist with logistics and transportation.
“However, the occurrence of subsidies and related provisions not reaching or benefiting the general public is not new.
“Instead, it has happened frequently since I was elected as the people’s representative here for five terms,” he stated.
Tiong, who is also a Dudong assemblyman, questioned whether authorities had conducted strict surveillance concerning the issue.
“I request that KPDNHEP provide a reasonable explanation as to whether the subsidy for diesel, rice, oil, and sugar reaches rural areas.
“If this question cannot be made clear, the head of KPDNHEP Bintulu branch should accept responsibility and resign,” he asserted.
He also called on the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to conduct a thorough investigation into the matter, because longhouse residents want to know who is in charge of such a sensitive issue.
“Do you believe that because you live in an inland area surrounded by mountains and far from the government administrative centre, you can do whatever you want and no one will notice?
“In fact, complaints like this have been reported on numerous occasions, indicating that the officer in question was incapable of taking anything seriously.
“This issue has not been resolved well since I served as the Bintulu MP for five terms; in fact, it has gotten worse which is completely unacceptable,” claimed Tiong. — DayakDaily