by HARIZAH KAMEL / pic by TMR FILE
THE Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry (KPDNHEP) has assured that there will be enough supply of chicken even after the upcoming Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebration.
Minister Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi said the ministry has consulted with several chicken suppliers who have assured that the supply of chicken will be sufficient until after Hari Raya.
“So, there is no need to worry,” he told reporters during a working visit in Putrajaya yesterday.
He also said there should be no more problems with price hikes for food items as the ministry has set the selling price and will monitor the situation.
KPDNHEP will continue to increase the enforcement of the Festive Season Maximum Price Control Scheme (SHMMP) which is being carried out in phases to ensure traders comply with the guidelines.
In the first phase, 12 types of food items have been gazetted under this scheme under the categories of chicken, chicken eggs, meat and seafood.
The government will implement the second phase with additional goods if necessary.
The SHMMP is in until May 20 to protect consumers from traders who unethically increase prices of essential goods during the fasting month.
Monitoring under this scheme is carried out daily throughout the country to ensure compliance with this scheme is adhered to by traders.
“I hope that this issue is not politicised. We want to take care of everyone, not persecute anyone.
“Let us also not blame the traders because they, too, are consumers. They should not lose their income just because of a few irresponsible ones, and we have closely looked into their situation to ensure businesses are not affected,” said the minister.
Since Wednesday, a total of 2,073 inspections have been conducted on business premises nationwide, covering 52 wholesale premises and 2,021 retail premises.
KPDNHEP has 72 enforcement command centres and about 2,300 KPDNHEP enforcement officers deployed in all markets.
Any trader who commits an offense will be prosecuted under the Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act 2011.
However, Nanta Linggi said KDPNHEP intends to take a “soft approach” by issuing warnings beforehand.
“We want to be friendly to all parties. We will not straightaway arrest and fine people although there is indeed pressure from netizens to do so.
“We want to take care of the wellbeing of all including consumers and traders,” he added.