Prices and supply of chickens in Malaysia have stabilised, says special task force against inflation
KUALA LUMPUR: The supply and the prices of chicken in Malaysia have stabilised, said the chairman of the special task force against inflation Annuar Musa.
Checks by the authorities revealed that most of the chicken in the market is being sold less than the ceiling price of RM9.40 per kg, said Mr Annuar in a press conference on Thursday (Jul 7).
“Based on the updates we have received, we have managed to stabilise the situation, the price, and the supply of chicken…Based on checks by the enforcement agencies, chicken is being sold less than the ceiling price,” he said.
“In fact, there are many sellers who are able to sell it way below the ceiling price, some are even selling it for less than RM9 per kg,” added Mr Annuar who is also Minister of Communications and Multimedia.
On Jun 29, Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced the setting up of the Special Task Force of Jihad Against Inflation under the chairmanship of Mr Annuar, to help Malaysians cope with the challenges of rising cost of living.
In tackling the problem of rising chicken price, the government had set a new ceiling price of RM9.40 per kg for standard chicken from Jul 1.
These are chickens that have been processed, and are sold with head, feet and organs.
The government had earlier banned the export of up to 3.6 million chickens from Jun 1 in its efforts to tackle the supply and pricing issues for chicken in the country.
The ban came about after complaints of supply shortage and price increases of chicken, with some traders selling their chickens above the price ceiling to cover their costs.
Chicken traders have complained that the increased costs of breeding chickens have cut into their profit margin, especially after the price control mechanism took effect from November last year.
Mr Annuar said that the government has improved the distribution of subsidies to chicken farmers, which among other things have allowed them to receive advance payments especially for the small and medium-sized farmers.
“They are given advance payments before they make their full claims,” he said, adding that a total of RM1.1 billion in subsidies has been distributed since the scheme began in February.
The government previously announced that it would stop giving subsidies to poultry farmers from Jul 1.
Mr Annuar also said that the import procedure for some commodities including wheat, soy, corn and animal feeds has been simplified and given priority until the supply of chicken is stabilised.
He added that they have also sped up the issuance of import permits, with an interim approval was given from Jul 1.
“It now takes seven working days compared with 30 to 90 days previously. This has benefitted 380 companies importing livestock feed,” he said.
Mr Annuar also said that they have increased the number of processing and slaughter centres overseas, especially in Thailand and China.
STERN ACTION AGAINST THOSE WHO MISUSE SUBSIDISED OIL
On the supply of subsidised cooking oil in Malaysia, Mr Annuar said that stern action will be taken against those who misused the subisidies by smuggling and selling it outside the country.
He said the government had acknowledged that subsidised cooking oil sold for RM2.50 in 1kg packets meant for Malaysians was being exported and sold overseas.
“Leakages are happening when oil for domestic use is purchased by non-domestic sectors and we have also identified other leakages,” he said.
“We would also like to appeal to the manufacturers and repackers to ensure that they adhere to the conditions set by the ministries. We will take action against those who violate these conditions,” he added.
Mr Annuar said the government had spent about RM2 billion last year for cooking oil subsidies and it might increase them to RM4 billion this year.
It has been reported recently that the subsidised cooking oil had been smuggled and sold in Thailand among other places.
Inspector-General of Police Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani said they were ready to support the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry via joint operations to curb cooking oil subsidy leakage.
"It was agreed that joint operations would be held, and arrests and seizures would be handed over to the ministry for further action," said Mr Acryl Sani as reported by The Star.