New cooking oil subsidy should check price increase

Zaidi Azmi
Written by Zaidi Azmi

KUALA LUMPUR – Oct 31, 2016: Consumers associations are not expecting the implementation of the cooking oil subsidy rationalisation plan tomorrow to cause too much of a burden.

Despite the possible price hike of some food items as a result, they are of the opinion traders would think twice before exorbitantly charging customers because doing so will negatively affect business relations.

“If the customers find that a price is unjust, traders and hawkers may likely end up losing many loyal customers,” said Federation of Malaysian Consumer Association (Fomca) deputy president Mohd. Yusof Abdul Rahman.

Yusof argued that traders should not even mull at attempting a price hike since the new subsidy scheme affects only consumers.

“Traders are not allowed to buy subsidised cooking oil from groceries. They should buy the item from suppliers and wholesalers who sell the oil based on approved market prices.”

To teach unscrupulous traders, Muslim Consumers Association of Malaysia president Datuk Nadzim Johan asked the people to boycott these traders.

“Stop buying from these profiteering businesses. Find those who offer a good deal.

“This will eventually teach the unscrupulous traders not to take advantage,” said Nadzim.

Nadzim also wants consumers to be proactive by becoming the ears and eyes of the government and report traders who exploit the situation.

Talk of the inevitable price hike began inundating cyberspace early this month following rumours that the government would no longer subsidise cooking oil.

Last Wednesday, the government announced that effective tomorrow, only the 1kg packet of cooking oil will continue to be subsidised and sold at RM2.50 each.

Domestic Trade, Cooperative and Consumerism Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin said that the government’s approved market price for unsubsidised cooking oil is between RM3.70 and RM3.90 per kg.

“Anyone known to be selling for more than this should be reported to the ministry,” said Hamzah during last week’s press conference in Putrajaya.

Despite the subsidy adjustment, Malaysia will still has the cheapest cooking oil price among Asean countries such as Brunei, Thailand, Laos, Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines.

Additional reporting: Amira Nutfah Zulkifli



About the author

Zaidi Azmi

Zaidi Azmi

If Zaidi Azmi isn’t busy finding his way in the city, this 26-year-old northern kampung boy can be found struggling to make sense of the Malaysian political scene. Zaidi can be reached at zaidiazmi91@gmail.com.