On July 8, Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Saifuddin Nasution Ismail was said to be looking at a proposal to do away with the approved permit (AP) system for food items, according to news reports.
Saifuddin, who is also Kulim Bandar Baru MP, said the move could lower prices and that he was studying the proposal.
Then on Aug 2, his deputy, Chong Chieng Jen, came out to say that the government was ready to issue more APs so that the price of white sugar could be brought down.
So, which is which?
It is one thing for ministers from different portfolios or departments to make contradictory statements, but for a minister and his deputy to contradict each other in a span of less than one month?
While it is understood that the government is new and still learning the ropes, there has to be some thought put into statements that are made.
Such inconsistent statements do not bode well for the country and could adversely impact the perception of investors and the public.