JOHOR BARU: Continuing the subsidy programme for 2kg, 3kg and 5kg bottled cooking oil will help ease the burden of the high cost of living that Malaysians currently face, says a trade group.
Federation of Sundry Goods Merchants Association of Malaysia chairman Hong Chee Meng said the average Malaysian family only consumes about 5% of the total palm oil production while the remaining 95% was exported.
“Our country is blessed with an abundance of palm oil and we have met with the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry in the hope that the government would continue giving the people oil subsidies for the 2kg, 3kg, and 5kg bottled cooking oil.
“Malaysians in general only consume 5% of the total palm oil production in the country compared to Indonesians with 25% due to their larger population, so I believe that the government would not face any issues in helping the people,” he said.
He said this when met at the Confederation of Johor Grocery and Sundry Merchants Association 52nd Anniversary lunch at Maedo Restaurant in Taman Ungku Tun Aminah, Skudai, here on Sunday (June 26).
Hong added that it was more important for the government to conduct surveillance and control the purchase of cooking oil by foreigners.
“The government should patrol our borders to ensure that there are no cases of bulk buying subsidised cooking oil such as in Kota Baru, Kelantan and here in Johor Baru.
“Subsidised cooking oil is meant to help and benefit Malaysians, so it would be pointless if these benefits were also reaped by foreigners,” he said, adding that store owners have no authority to stop customers from bulk buying.
Earlier, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that the temporary subsidy programme for 1kg, 2kg, 3kg, and 5kg bottled cooking oil, which was introduced during the Covid-19 pandemic, will be discontinued from July 1.
He also clarified that the subsidy for cooking oil in 1kg polybags was still in effect, and that this was first announced in 2007.
In a special announcement Wednesday (June 22), Ismail Sabri added that the temporary subsidy started in August 2021 and was aimed at assisting the rakyat facing difficulties during the pandemic.
“However, the government found that the assistance provided was misused by certain people, including the commercial sector, industries, and due to smuggling,” he said.