Over the week, we’ve heard of multiple complaints about the rising cost of living and food supply issues. In response to this, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the weekly cabinet meeting will be brought forward to Monday (22 May).
According to Bernama, he said the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry (KPDNHEP) and Agriculture and Food Industries Ministry (Mafi) will brief the cabinet on these issues, including the short and long-term plans to overcome these problems.
“So, on Monday I’m calling a cabinet meeting to specifically look into how we can balance this sudden increase in food prices. I’ve asked the Domestic Trade Ministry to present a report.”
“The same for food issue. Mafi needs to report on the supply of food including chicken,” he said.
He said the increase in the cost of living is expected as it is a global phenomenon due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict and the Covid-19 pandemic, which have disrupted the food production and supply.
Ismail also said other than the approved permit (AP) for food imports, the government is also studying the possibility of abolishing other types of AP to ease the pressure arising from shortages of other goods.
“We hope that by abolishing APs we can at least reduce the pressure faced in terms of supply of goods, and maybe many quarters concerned can reduce prices. But we need to wait to see its effects,” he added.
On Wednesday, Ismail Sabri said the government had decided to abolish the AP for food imports with immediate effect. However, APs are still required to import rice.