KUALA LUMPUR, The Ministry of Domestic Trade and Cost of Living (KPDN) will immediately carry out three steps to monitor the issue of chicken prices following the discontinuation of subsidies and price control, effective yesterday.
Its Acting Minister Datuk Armizan Mohd Ali said the first step was to continue the monitoring and enforcement aspects by using the Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act 2011, as well as the Competition Act 2010 if necessary.
“The second step is to implement targeted mitigation according to the area as there are certain locations that have issues,” he said at the press conference after launching the special discount card for Menu Rahmah today.
In addition, Armizan said the KPDN will continue the intervention programmes, particularly in Sabah, Sarawak, Labuan and the Peninsula where there is an issue with chicken sold above RM9.40 per kilogramme.
As for the intervention programmes, he said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had ordered more Rahmah Sales and MADANI Agro Sales to be held to ensure that the people have access to chicken supplies at a reasonable price.
Armizan said that at the same time, he would continue field activities with Deputy KPDN Minister Fuziah Salleh and the ministry's secretary-general Datuk Seri Mohd Sayuthi Bakar to ensure that there is no leakage.
Apart from that, he said the KPDN is also working with the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security to identify factors if there are traders selling chicken at high prices including whether it is due to lack of supply or other factors.
“Our enforcement officers will also come down and ask what the problems and issues are, how much they cost and the profit margin.
“If we see that the (sales price) is too high which is unreasonable, we may be able to advise and take legal action based on existing provisions,” he said.
Based on the inspection conducted yesterday, he said 90 per cent of the monitored areas sell chicken below RM9.40 per kg.
On Oct 30, Agriculture and Food Security Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Sabu announced that the government has agreed that subsidies and price controls for chicken will be fully terminated, starting today, while subsidies and price controls for grade A, B and C eggs will remain according to the existing mechanism.
Mohamad said the rationale for ending subsidies in bulk for chicken is to reduce subsidy leakage, which has also been enjoyed by foreigners and high-income groups.
He also advised consumers not to resort to panic buying during the coming days, as the supply of chicken is guaranteed to be sufficient.
Source: BERNAMA News Agency