Publish premises with local white rice, packet cooking oil supplies

GEORGE TOWN: The Agriculture and Food Security Ministry has been told to publish the locations where the people can easily purchase local white rice and packet cooking oil.

Gerakan deputy president Oh Tong Keong said the ministry should publish them in social media or mobile applications.

"By doing so, this will make it easier for the people to obtain supply and to prevent traders from hoarding for the sake of profit.

"Such a move will benefit the people, whereby they can save time by going directly to the locations with the supply," he said today.

Oh, who is state Gerakan chief, said besides listing down the locations, inventory details of rice and packet cooking oil could also be listed in the list to make it easier for the authorities to prevent hoarding of the basic items.

He said the government's decision for institutions such as army camps, police, hospitals and school hostels to use imported white rice from April 1 was not a good move as it would not resolve the country's rice shortage issue.

"Can this approach make it easier for people to buy local rice? Where did the local rice supply go?

"Why is there such a serious shortage of local rice and packet cooking oil in the market?" he added.

As such, Oh said the government should study the reasons for the shortage of both of these food supplies and take action on traders who hide basic necessities.

"The issue should not be prolonged," he said.

A National Cost of Living Action Council (Naccol) member had claimed the supply of white rice in the market was still limited despite the government's instruction of 140,000 metric tonnes of padi and rice to be processed for sale.

Datuk Syed Abu Hussin Hafiz Syed Abdul Faisal, who heads the Naccol food cluster taskforce, said 140,000 metric tonnes were equivalent to 14 million packets of local white rice.

However, he said checks at 173 supermarkets and other premises across the country found that only seven premises had a supply of local white rice, and even then in limited quantities.

Related article: 'Local rice shortage is no small matter', Naccol man tells Zahid

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