Abuse of subsidised packet cooking oil causing shortage in Penang


BUTTERWORTH, Jan 8 — The Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry (KPDNHEP) in Penang has identified the cause of the short supply of subsidised packet cooking oil in the state following the discovery of item being abused by irresponsible parties.

Its director, Mohd Ridzuan Ab Ghapar said this followed the ministry’s close monitoring at the godowns and factories carrying out packing and wholesalers to ensure the subsidised item is not abused.

“Yes, there were complaints on the shortage of packet subsidised cooking oil. Some of the complaints were received from social media and officially, I take a serious view of the matter and we will take stern actions against any quarters found abusing item.

“In this regard, I also ordered my officers to focus on the case (on lack of oil supply) and intensify monitoring and enforcement to flush out such activities as consumers are unable to purchase the one kilogramme pack subsidised cooking oil,” he told reporters today.

He was met after visiting the Malaysian Family Sales Programme (PJKM) in the compound of  At-Taqwa Mosque in Mak Mandin here today.

Elaborating further, Mohd Ridzuan said there are 25 companies in the packaging of packet cooking oil and 500 wholesalers in Penang currently.

As a result of the information and intelligence gathered, we recently (Dec 24) raided an unlicensed premises in Bagan Ajam, here which carried out activities of transferring 20 tonnes of subsidised cooking oil and further investigations are still ongoing to trace the parties involved.

“Based on the investigation, it was found that the modus operandi used by the syndicate was to hire a third party to manage the oil transfer and they were believed to be carrying out the activities for more than three months because we have been conducting intelligence for a month before raiding the premises,” he said.

Earlier, he said a total of 13 PJKM had been held in Penang since December last year and would continue until March as the response was very encouraging.

“The PJKM will be held twice a month in rotation in each Parliamentary constituency, with focus on the localities of B40 and M40 residents as the response is very encouraging from the locals and many do not want to miss the opportunity to get various necessities sold cheaper by five to 20 per cent here,” he said.

Meanwhile, a visitor, Pynun Pydi (she), 73, said she was satisfied with the price of goods offered in PJKM because most of them were cheaper than the current market price and she could save by buying at the sales programme.

“Eggs, chicken and rice are among the cheap necessities at PJKM and if it can be held at the same location every month, it is better,” said the senior citizen.

Rosli Bidin, 65, also agreed with Pynun and hoped that the programme would continue for a longer period of time as it was very beneficial for the people.

Dayang Norazhar

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