PUTRAJAYA: The Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry has been conducting surveillance in Johor since Saturday (Feb 8) to ensure there is no panic buying of essential food or household items by Singaporeans in the state.
The ministry said inspections were carried out in Johor Bahru, Iskandar Puteri, Pasir Gudang and Kulai to ensure that controlled items, food and other basic items were sufficient for Malaysians.
A statement by the ministry's branch in Johor said a total of 1,124 premises had been inspected.
"The result of this inspection showed that supplies of essential items such as food and basic necessities were sufficient and easily obtainable," it said on Facebook.
The ministry conducted the checks to ensure continuous supply of controlled goods, such as sugar, cooking oil and flour, and that the items are sold at prices set by the government.
"Currently, supplies of controlled goods are sufficient at the levels of manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers," it added.
The surveillance was carried out following what is said to be panic buying by Singaporeans after the Singaporean government raised its Disease Outbreak Response System Condition (DORSCON) level from Yellow to Orange for the novel coronavirus outbreak, the statement said.
Singapore's Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing has assured the public that the country has ample supple of essential food and household items, and so there is no need to rush for supplies.
Urging the people to exercise individual responsibility, he said hoarding items unnecessarily will create undue panic.
Similarly, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Saturday that there is no need to panic.
"We are not locking down the city or confining everybody to stay at home. We have ample supplies, so there is no need to stock up with instant noodles, tinned food, or toilet paper, as some people did yesterday," he said.
READ: PM Lee urges Singapore to take courage amid coronavirus outbreak, see through stressful time together
Separately, on the sale of face masks in Johor, the domestic trade ministry said its state office in Johor was still conducting investigations on alleged profiteering after receiving 65 complaints, according to Bernama.
It said out of 187 inspections carried out, two premises were found selling the controlled item at a price higher than the price ceiling and they were fined RM500 (US$120) and RM10,000 respectively.