The Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) urged the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP) and the Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority (Fama) to take immediate action  in reducing the prices of vegetables and fruits,  as  study has shown that their prices had increased drastically over the last two weeks.

The price of chicken increased from RM 9 to RM10 per kilogram and traders has alerted that the price will increase further; vegetables such as ladies’ fingers went from RM7 to RM10; Sawi, RM4.50 to RM6; tomato,RM5 to RM7; chilli padi, RM7 to RM9; red chilli, RM20 to RM25; and Carrot, RM4 to RM6.

Malaysia needs to meet the local demand first until the rainy season is over rather than prioritising the exporting of fish and vegetables to other countries” said Mohideen.

He also urged the KPDNHEP enforcement unit to investigate the sharp rise in prices as the increase in prices has brought hardship to the low-income group.

Since a number of wet markets in Penang were ordered closed after their traders were tested positive for Covid-19, it has caused much difficulties to consumers in obtaining their supplies.  This also creates an opportunity for irresponsible traders to raise the prices of goods.

“CAP had repeatedly urged FAMA to control the marketing and distribution of vegetables in the past but our calls have fallen on deaf ears as our primary concern about rising prices impacting on the nutritional needs of the low-income group.

“The optimum amount of nutritious food intake will be compromised due to the increase in prices,” Mohideen remarked.

He pointed out that it has been found that Malaysians ate very little fruits, and this could be attributed to the fact that few people plant fruit trees and local fruits are also very expensive. Lower-income families tend to prioritise the expenditure on food for the main meals, thereby causing fruits to become side-lined.

Press Statement, 8 September 2021