Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob has assured Malaysians that the government is taking a cautious approach in addressing the food supply issue and rising food prices that affected the well-being of the Malaysians.
According to Bernama, Ismail said the government has formulated short-, medium- and long-term measures to stabilise food supplies and prices that was caused by the pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
He explained that Malaysia, the Asian region and other regions in the world were not spared from the impact of the crisis. He added that the global supply chain was also affected, resulting in world food prices rising by more than 30%.
As for short-term measures, Ismail said the government has recently announced the abolishment of the approved permit (AP) requirement to import foodstuffs and imposed a ban on the export of chicken.
“In addition, channelling financial assistance directly to the people, especially the B40 group, starting 1 July, establishing the Agrofood Fund with an allocation of RM500mil through soft loans to industry players and creating buffer stocks for chicken, meat and fish to ensure adequate food supply,” he said.
Ismail said this is among the 5 short-term measures that the government has taken to protect Malaysians from the burden of rising prices of goods, apart from various subsidies which are expected to reach RM71bil this year.
He said these were followed by several medium- and long-term measures to stabilise the supply and prices of food but did not reveal any of them.
Meanwhile, he also said the government will continue to voice its stand in safeguarding the interests and sovereignty of the country as well as bring the voice for global peace into the international arena.
He said his recent visits abroad proved the good cooperation and strong diplomatic relations between Malaysia and foreign countries.
Ismail then stressed that the government will continue to work in the spirit of inclusivity, togetherness and contentment and assured that all no Malaysians are left behind the country’s development.
Under the social protection agenda throughout the country, he said the government implemented the first phase of the Malaysian Family Hardcore Poverty Eradication Programme last month involving 80 urban and rural localities including Orang Asli settlements to bring them out of poverty.
“We will continue to protect the lives of the poor and the low-income group so that they can enjoy a comfortable life,” he said.