By LYDIA NATHAN / Pic BERNAMA
THE Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP) has issued 1,149 notices to businesses under the Ops Pasar (vegetables, meat and chicken) for price hikes.
Ops Pasar, which was conducted from Jan 12 to March 21, was aimed at monitoring price hikes at every level of the supply chain including retailers and suppliers.
Meanwhile, Ops Pantau which was launched across the country on April 13 focuses on Ramadan bazaars, wet markets, hypermarkets, supermarkets, mini markets and grocery shops particularly on the sales of chicken, meat and vegetables.
KPDNHEP Minister Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi said as of April 16, about 5,768 premises nationwide had been checked with 27 cases identified for various offences.
“As claims of the sudden hike in prices of chicken recently surfaced, KPDNHEP implemented Ops Catut 8.0 (Chicken) on April 15. In one day, 24 notices were issued to wholesalers and 16 notices to breeders,” he said.
According to Nanta Linggi, an early analysis of the prices of live-stock feed made from soy and corn, mostly from Argentina and Brazil, also recorded a sudden increase in prices, and this affected the price of chicken in the supply chain.
“KPDNHEP received 15 complaints regarding the price of chicken, one complaint for meat, and two on the prices of vegetables since the fasting month began. However, there have been no complaints on the deficiency of food supply.
“The complaints that went viral on Facebook regarding price hikes across Kuala Lumpur that were higher than on the PriceCatcher application have been looked into and are not accurate. Instead, it only involved the price of three items, which were mackerel, chicken and meat in the up-market areas of Bukit Bintang only,” he said.
He also clarified some information on the PriceCatcher application up till April 17.
“The price of a kilogramme (kg) of mackerel fish was recorded less than RM22 at the Air Panas market, while chicken was being sold at less than RM10 per kg at supermarkets like Cold Storage, Hero, and AEON2.
“The ministry takes these issues seriously as it can affect the people, and we have made continuous efforts since January 2021 to ensure people are not burdened by price hikes especially for basic necessities,” Nanta Linggi added.
He said KPDNHEP believed in an open economy and that the Malaysian market is mature enough to coordinate prices according to the supply and demand of goods.
“If needed, the Ministry will take actions quickly to ensure a healthy market for the sake of the people.
“As we have previously done for the prices of RON95 fuel, sugar, and others in the past, we will continue to keep a close eye particularly during the festive season,” he noted.