KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 20 — The Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) called today for government intervention in the recent escalation of food prices by up to 300 per cent.
Its president SM Mohamed Idris said in a statement that the prices of vegetables, fruits and fish have gone up by 300 per cent last week and demanded the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry and the Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority (FAMA) act to bring down the price.
“It was reported on 15 November 2017 that the rise in prices and shortages of vegetables and fish was due to the prevailing monsoon season over the last few weeks.
“We felt that anticipating a shortage during the monsoon season, Malaysia should stop the export of fish and vegetables to other countries and it should continue the ban to meet the domestic demand until the monsoon season is over,” he said in the statement.
Mohamed Idris listed eight items whose prices have escalated.
The items are: lady’s finger (bendi) which shot to RM12 from RM6; long beans up to RM6 from RM3.60; sawi and beans, both up to RM6 from RM3.50; eggplant up to RM5.40 from RM1.80; tomatoes up to RM5 from RM3.50; daun bawang to a whopping 300 per cent increase at RM12 from RM3 and; similar to parsley up by a 265 per cent increase to RM11 from RM3.
The consumer group also called on the Enforcement Division of the Ministry of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism to investigate the price hikes.
“… average income earners will be badly affected by escalating prices of goods. Food price increases do not match the slower rise in wages thus burdening consumers with escalating living costs.
“CAP has also been repeatedly calling for FAMA to take control of the marketing and distribution of vegetables in the country but our calls have fallen on deaf ears. Such control is critical because consumers’ access to proper diet is compromised with high cost of food,” he said.