Fake news affecting supply of subsidised cooking oil in market — minister

Cooking oil in a market. According to Annuar, while the government is trying its best to look after the welfare of the people, some traders are deliberately raising prices to reap profits at the expense of the people. (Photo by Zahid Izzani Mohd Said/The Edge)

Cooking oil in a market. According to Annuar, while the government is trying its best to look after the welfare of the people, some traders are deliberately raising prices to reap profits at the expense of the people. (Photo by Zahid Izzani Mohd Said/The Edge)

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PUTRAJAYA (June 30): False news that apparently the supply of one kilogramme (kg) subsidised cooking oil would be stopped from July 1 caused the people to buy huge quantities of the subsidised cooking oil, said Communications and Multimedia Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa.

He said such panic buying caused a shortage of cooking oil in such packing in the market.

“We are studying the supply thoroughly. The matter was discussed just now and the ministry gave its assurance that several measures would be taken to ensure adequate supply.

“We have discussed certain specific measures earlier, which I do not need to mention here, but on the question of insufficient cooking oil, we have certain approaches to improve it in future.

"The amount we subsidise every month, [that is] at 60,000 tonnes a month, should be more than enough unless there are certain things that happen which we need to manage better," he said.

He told reporters this after chairing the first meeting of the Special Task Force on Jihad Against Inflation here on Thursday (June 30).

In this regard, he said the ministry would also be checking the action of online traders who are reselling the subsidised 1kg cooking oil in polybag at RM27 for five packets when they are sold at RM12.50 for five packets in the market.

““Yesterday (Wednesday), an advertisement in an online platform openly made this offer. I have ordered the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission to take action under the relevant laws.

“The Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP) will also be taking follow-up actions against such parties,” he said.

Annuar said that while the government is trying its best to look after the welfare of the people, some traders are deliberately raising prices to reap profits at the expense of the people.

“I am urging the public to help stop this deliberate price increase by cooperating with the government and expose these quarters for violating the laws and exploiting the people.    

“We know the people are suffering from the pressure of rising prices of goods from all corners. We believe from now the traders who heard the message would cooperate to ensure subsidised goods are not abused,” he said.

Annuar said that from August, KPDNHEP would introduce labels on subsidised cooking oil packets to facilitate enforcement and curb smuggling activities.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the Cabinet had agreed to set up a special team to help Malaysian families face the challenges of the rising cost of living.

Ismail Sabri said the special team's role is to gather all information from the ministries, agencies and the public to formulate strategies and coordinate actions to resolve issues related to inflation, especially controlling the increase in prices of goods more efficiently and effectively.

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