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Possible price controls for instant noodles, eggs, diapers in Malaysia

Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said that his ministry is currently getting data from major supermarket and hypermarket chains nationwide to cross-check the 30 most common items bought by low income-earners. — AFP pic

Pan Pacific Agency | COMMUICATION AGENCY FOR PACIFICA REGIONS

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 25, 2019, MalayMail. The government is mulling adding the top 30 most common groceries to its list of controlled price items alongside rice, sugar and cooking oil, reported the MalayMail.

Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail told news portal The Malaysian Insight that his ministry is currently getting data from major supermarket and hypermarket chains nationwide to cross-check the 30 most common items bought by low income-earners.

“There are about 4,000 items in their inventories and we are looking at the 30 most common ones. Most shoppers will buy many of these 30. These items don’t change. They are like instant noodles, sausages, eggs, cooking oil, bread, nappies, soy sauce, chicken and some varieties of fish,” he was quoted saying.

Saifuddin Nasution also said his ministry is also looking at temporarily suspending exports of locally farmed produce and sea harvests when yields are low to ensure domestic sufficiency.

Low domestic supplies are said to be among the reasons driving the prices of food north.

However, Saifuddin Nasution said the government has to also consider the agreements signed with other countries before it decides on the no-export food policy.

“Whenever we decide to halt exports, we must inform the destination country 90 days in advance. So this is something we must really study before we implement.”

Reducing living costs was among the GE14 pledges of the Pakatan Harapan government and has been among the common grouses raised in several by-elections held since last May.

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