SANDAKAN (Sept 5): Enforcement authorities, particularly the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Cost of Living, need to continuously monitor the supply of rice in Sabah following the increase in the price of imported commodity.
Sabah Umno information chief Datuk Suhaimi Nasir said this is to ensure that the supply of rice in the state is sufficient and does not cause anxiety among the people which could lead to panic buying.
Suhaimi said he had received feedback from the people that there were shop premises that had no supply of rice and some had limited the sale of rice to two packets for each purchase.
“Continuous monitoring needs to be done by the enforcement authorities to ensure that the supply of rice in this state, especially in this district, is always available and that the increase in the price of imported rice does not affect current needs,” he said in a statement on Tuesday.
Recently, Padiberas Nasional Berhad (Bernas) announced an adjustment in the selling price of imported white rice.
The selling price of imported white rice now set at RM3,200 per metric ton compared to the previous price of RM2,350 per metric ton.
Currently, Sabah’s Rice Self-Sufficiency Level (SSL) is at 22 percent while 78 percent of the state’s rice needs are imported from China, Vietnam, Thailand and Pakistan.
A local company has announced an increase in the price of imported rice for five kilograms from RM14.25 to RM18.75 and for 10 kilograms from RM27.50 to RM36.
Suhaimi, who is also the Member of Parliament for Libaran, said the monitoring of rice suppliers is also necessary to ensure that they do not manipulate the price by changing local rice sack to imported rice.
With the shortage of local rice in the state, he said the consumers are depending a lot on imported rice, and are affected by the increase.
He also hopes that local rice suppliers can increase their production in the market to ease the burden of consumers.