(File pix) The Consumers' Association of Penang (CAP) has warned that wasting food during Ramadan will only contribute to higher food prices. Pix by Owee Ah Chun

GEORGE TOWN: The Consumers' Association of Penang (CAP) has warned that wasting food during Ramadan will only contribute to higher food prices.

Its officer R. Uma said the demand for food supply would in turn push food prices upwards.

"This directly hurts our household expenses. The law of supply and demand applies in this scenario as well, and we cannot escape from it," she told the New Straits Times when met at CAP’s office here today.

Recently, the NST reported that in Penang island alone, there was an increase of 40 tonnes of waste collected in the first 10 days of Ramadan.

The Penang Island City Council (MBPP) collected 624 tonnes of waste daily during Ramadan compared with 584 tonnes daily in other months.

Statistics in June 2018 showed that 16,668 tonnes of food nationwide was wasted on daily basis, which could be used to feed 12 million individuals.

The figure usually jumps 15 to 20 per cent during festive period.

For the fasting month alone, 20,088 tonnes of food was wasted daily, enough to feed one and a half times the Malaysian population.

This, Uma said, was not shameful but sinful, especially going against the religious significance of fasting.

“This not only happens during Ramadan but also during all religious celebrations.

“CAP has been warning about this for the past 10 years and the matter only gets worse over the years.

"It is time to wake up and become a more prudent food buyer. As for the hawkers, they should keep a close tab on their stock so as to replenish them on need basis and also proper storage condition of the unsold stock," she said.

CAP's education team has been distributing dossier to all the state religious mufti on food wasting during the fasting month.

The mufti agreed that Muslims should consume food in a moderate manner and avoid wasting it.