The Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) is very concerned about the rapid increase in red onion price after India imposed an export ban due to monsoonal flood disasters.
A CAP market survey carried out in Penang shows that price of red onion imported from China, Holland and Pakistan has increased from RM 4.00 to RM 7.50 per kilogramme a month ago and currently has further increased to RM10.50 per kilogramme.
The common complaint CAP received and noted was that the red onion was of low quality but is exorbitantly priced.
Retailers claimed that the problem started when the supply from India stopped. They also added that from a 5kg sack of imported red onions, only 80% could be sold while the remaining 20% were damaged and rotten.
CAP calls on the Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority (FAMA) to check the importation of onions, while the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP) has to ensure that there is no profiteering activity or excessive price increase besides a consistent supply in the market.
KPDNHEP should also carry out an immediate investigation into the exorbitant price hike of onion and whether the increase is justified and to check on the quality of the onion.
The ministry should not hesitate to implement the price control scheme as provided under the Price Control and Anti-Profiteering if the situation is urgent.
As onion is one of the basic ingredients of many Malaysian recipes, we urge FAMA to encourage local farmers to cultivate them. Onions can also be cultivated at home as they are easily grown and do not need large spaces.
Press Statement, 1st December 2020