November 26, 2023

New Malaysia Times

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KUCHING, Oct 5 — The public has been urged to refrain from panic buying, following the reduction in the price of imported white rice (BPI) through the introduction of rice subsidy in Sabah and Sarawak, which came into effect today.

Sarawak Padi and Rice Regulatory (KPB) Authority director, Nor Anizan Radzali, assured that the supply of rice in the state is sufficient, and continuous monitoring will be carried out to ensure that the maximum price of RM31 per 10 kilogrammes (kg) of rice is adhered to by industry players.

“We have also held discussions with rice wholesalers in Sarawak, and they have agreed to cooperate by marketing BPI according to the price set by the government.

“We will not hesitate to take action, through the Control of Padi and Rice Act 1994 (Act 522), for any non-compliance or violation of any provision under this act,” she told Bernama today.

On Monday, the Agriculture and Food Security Minister, Datuk Seri Mohamad Sabu, announced that for Sabah and Sarawak, the government agreed to provide a subsidy of RM950 per tonne for BPI, beginning Oct 5, enabling BPI to be obtained at a retail price of RM31 per 10kg. 

It is one of the four additional intervention measures agreed upon by Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, to address the rice supply issue in the country.

Meanwhile, Nor Anizan said that KPB had carried out inspections at supermarkets around Kuching, Miri and Sibu, to monitor the drop in rice prices.

She said that consumers in Sarawak can channel complaints through the website for any information regarding the sale of subsidised rice above the price of RM31, or contact the Kuching KPB office at 082-578941.

A Bernama survey found that 10kg of BPI sold in some supermarkets at RM30, depending on the brand.

For housewife Adeline Lim, 49, the subsidy introduced has eased her burden as she has a big family.

“Previously, the price of 10kg rice reached RM50, so we had to ration because it only lasted less than two weeks for our family of seven.

“I am grateful for the current rice subsidy and hope that the government will look into this rice issue for a long-term solution,” she said.