Malaysia Madani rice: Local, imported, or mixed? Price differences spark debate

KUALA TERENGGANU: The federal government should provide more details on the Malaysia Madani white rice whether it is local white rice, imported white rice or mixed local and imported rice.

Terengganu Agriculture, Agro-based Industry and Rural Development Committee chairman Dr Azman Ibrahim said the issue needs to be clarified because there is a price difference for each rice category.

"If it is local rice, it means there is an increase in the price of about RM1 per kg compared to the previous price of RM2.50 per kg.

"If it is imported rice, it means there is a price drop because previously imported rice was usually sold at around RM3.80 per kg," he said in his Facebook post.

Azman said he believes that the rice may not be from imported rice as Malaysia's imported rice quantity was only about 33 per cent of the country's needs.

"If it is a mixture of local and imported, the composition of the mixture is of course 60 to 70 per cent local rice, the rest is imported rice," he added.

He said any increase involving the supply price of the basic source of food would put the people in a tough situation.

"Rice is the people's main food source. The increase will put them in a situation of incurring additional expenses where the cost of living is already burdensome," he said.

It was reported on Feb 14 that the government will introduce the Malaysia Madani white rice priced at RM30 for a 10 kg sack on Feb 19, which is expected to be available in the market starting from March 1.

Chairman of the task force (food cluster) under the National Action Council for Cost of Living (NACCOL) Datuk Syed Abu Hussin Hafiz Syed Abdul Faisal said this means there will no longer be local white rice (SST) and imported white rice (SSI) categories, adding that the Malaysia Madani white rice will be the sole category.

The Bukit Gantang Member of Parliament said between Feb 19 and March 1 rice industry players can make adjustments and sell rice in old packaging until all wholesalers' stocks are sold out.

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