PUTRAJAYA: The Cabinet yesterday decided that there will be no increase in the price of cooking oil, said Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
Urging consumers to refrain from panic buying, he said this dismissed allegations by certain quarters that the price would rise before the Chinese New Year, which falls on Feb 3 and 4.
He said panic buying would cause consumers to be at the losing end and benefit unscrupulous distributors, wholesalers and shopkeepers.
Some places are experiencing shortage of cooking oil after one company stopped selling 4,000 metric tons of cooking oil last month while irregularities occurred in the wholesaling and repacking activities, he told a news conference after the Cabinet meeting here.
Ismail Sabri said following discussions with the Plantation Industries and Commodities Ministry, it was decided that cooking oil supply would be increased by 14,000 tonnes, bringing the total production to 84,000 metric tonnes this month to offset the shortage.
Meanwhile, the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry in collaboration with the Plantation Industries and Commodities Ministry, the Malaysian Palm Oil Board, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption
Commission and the Inland Revenue Board has established a task force to solve the artificial cooking oil shortage.
Ismail Sabri said the task force would take action and investigate irregularities in the production, repackaging and distribution of cooking oil.
He denied a claim by the Muslim Consumers Association of Malaysia that the shortage of cooking oil in several states was due to lack of coordination among various ministries and agencies.
“It is not true. Since early December, when one or two shops did not get cooking oil supply, the ministry immediately convened a meeting with the Malaysian Palm Oil Board and the Plantation Industries and
Commodities Ministry to solve the problem. We have met six times until today,” he said.
On the increase in the prices of RON97 petrol and kerosene by 10 sen respectively effective yesterday, he said the price hike was not announced by the government as they were dependent on the world’s crude oil price unlike RON95 petrol price which was a price-controlled item.
The Petrol Dealers Association of Malaysia announced on Tuesday that RON97 petrol would now cost RM2.40 per litre while kerosene RM2.50 per litre. — Bernama
Source : Borneo Post Online