By Karen Bong
KUCHING, May 20: The Essential Goods Standardisation Programme is a federal government initiative to standardise the prices of seven controlled goods in rural and urban areas of Peninsula Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak.
State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas clarified that the programme was not implemented by the state government as was reported in a newspaper today.
“I read in the newspapers today reporting that the state government has implemented the (essential goods) standardisation programme. I want to correct here that it is a federal programme aimed at benefitting consumers in Sarawak,” he told a press conference to provide Covid-19 updates in the state here today.
Meanwhile, Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP) Sarawak director Datuk Stanley Tan pointed out that the programme initiated by the ministry since 2009 until today aimed to help the rural populace not only in Sarawak but also Sabah and a few rural areas in Peninsular Malaysia.
“The programme is to standardise the prices of seven controlled items in rural areas so that the prices are similar to that in towns and cities.
“This is because prices (of goods) are more expensive in rural areas than cities due to high transportation cost,” he said.
Tan cited the example of the prices of goods in Kampung Patik Penan located in the interior of Miri division before the standardisation programme was introduced.
“The price per kilogramme of sugar and flour was RM5 while cooking oil was RM8; 10kg packet of rice (RM60); LPG gas (RM130 per cyclinder); RON95 (RM6.40 per litre); and diesel (RM6.10 per litre).
“To reach Patik Penan village, the journey from Miri to Lapuk town was 130 kilometres on tar-sealed road followed by (the stretch from) Lapuk town to Bario over 435km on logging roads before walking three to four days to reach the village,” he revealed.
With the federal government subsidising transportation costs under the programme, Tan said the price of sugar is RM2.85 per kg, flour (RM1.35 per kg), cooking oil (RM2.50 per kg), 10kg packet of rice (RM29), LPG gas (RM28.60 per cyclinder), RON95 (RM1.31 per litre) and diesel (RM1.45 per litre).
Meanwhile, the federal government has also identified 79 transporters to deliver consumer goods to 421 areas with 800 posts selected to sell the goods under controlled prices in rural and remote areas.