SIBU: Another bulk shipment of 615 metric tonnes of sugar will be unloaded and transported to four wholesalers here early next week.
This was confirmed by Ministry of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism (MDTCC) Sibu branch head Balraj Singh, who said this was to cater for the coming festive celebration.
The fresh stock, he clarified would also be distributed to other parts of the central region such as Selangau, Dalat, Mukah,Kanowit and others.
“My officers are on the ground now to monitor the fresh stock,” Balraj told thesundaypost when contacted yesterday.
He added that the public should not worry about the supply of sugar as the new shipment was sufficient for local consumption.
On reasons for the ‘artificial’ shortage of sugar previously, he said it was due to panic buying as people anticipated a hike in the price of the commodity.
Based on market information and their checking, he pointed out that less people were buying the commodity currently.
Backing the claim was an executive of a supermarket here Chua Tung Wei, who reckoned that panic buying had fizzled out.
The current trend of buying was more towards Lunar New Year preparation, said Chua.
“Sugar is one of the key ingredients for making cakes, cookies and so on,” he said.
Earlier, a shopper requesting anonymity, said the hike in the price of sugar was minimal.
“Initially, I figured the hike in the price of sugar would be one ringgit or more,” she said, adding that this prompted her to stock up in anticipation of a price increase.
Still left with some stock at home, she said she had since stopped purchasing sugar as there was not enough space to keep the item.
Meanwhile, a brief market survey yesterday morning found that sugar was available at several outlets here.
Still on sugar, Penghulu Enyang Menchol called on the relevant authoriies to disseminate information about the hike in sugar price to the rural communities.
“This will ensure that people in the rural areas understand the rationale for the increase in the essential item,” Enyang suggested.
He said the hike could reduce the health care cost as people reduced the consumption of sugar.
Towards this end, he also advised the longhouse folk to reduce their intake of sugar to stay healthy.
A businessman Raymond Thong gave the thumbs-up to the hike in the price of sugar.
This, he said, would help people to reduce their intake of sugar.
“When you view the development in a holistic manner, you will realise that people have nothing to lose from the increase.
“The important thing is they will become healthier and be able to enjoy a better quality of life,” Thong said.
The government can use the savings generated from such an exercise to better provide for the welfare of the lower income group, he added.
Interviewed earlier, chairman of Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) Sibu Sub-Branch Dr Hu Chang Hock advised the public to cut down on their intake of sugar.
“Taking too much sugar in the long run will cause diabetes and expose to higher risk of heart disease,” Dr Hu warned.
Sweet foodstuff was also bad for health owing to their high content of sugar, he added.
“Of course, the effects of taking too much sugar will not be felt overnight.
“But when they finally cropped up, it will be very problematic and stressful,” he said, urging people to practise a healthy lifestyle.
Earlier, coffeeshop and restaurant owners gave an assurance that they would not hike the price of drinks.
Its chairman Tong Ing Kuok assured the public that current prices of drinks would be maintained despite the hike in price of sugar.