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Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Public advised not to believe or spread on social media about cooking oil shortages

Since the subsidy rationalization took effect yesterday, local media reports today highlighted that the price of palm-based cooking oil has been increased between 50 to 57 percent following the restructuring of Cooking Oil Price Stabilisation Scheme effective November 1.

The Domestic, Cooperative and Consumerism Ministry (KPDNKK)in a statement has highlighted that the price for non subsidised cooking oil is set by the industry according to the palm market price, not the ministry. However, claims of shortages is still being widely circulated along with claims that KPDNKK set the price.

KPDNKK has firmly stated that the price of cooking oil in bottles of 1kg and above will be according to the market price while cooking oil in 1kg polybags remains at RM2.50 to make sure that targeted subsidies reach the needy.

Malaysian Digest went to two supermarkets in Kota Damansara, Aeon Big and Giant, and in our survey, some shelves were completely cleared while shelves with other brands were fully stocked.

Moreover, a few brands like Buruh and Sawit were out of stock at both supermarkets even before the new pricing scheme took place.

Nevertheless, Aeon Big has enough supply of cooking oil in 1kg polybags but it is limited to 3 packets per family.

Meanwhile, the supply of cooking oil in the bottle for several other brands are also still in sufficient quantities for consumer use and is available in both the supermarket.

A Giant supermarket staff told Malaysian Digest that cooking oil for brands like Buruh and Sawit were out of stock because of differences in the prices compared to other brands. He also said most consumers with families prefer to buy cooking oil in bottles rather than polybags despite the price being maintained at RM2.50.

"We've made our order with the supplier of both brands (Buruh and Sawit) but the stocks haven't arrived yet.

"Customers can still buy cooking oil from different brands because the price difference is not much. But still there is a marginal increase and customers don't like that," he said.

In the meantime, KPDNKK explained that manufacturers set the retail price after taking into account of certain costs including production cost and that the price of crude palm oil which has soared from RM2,500 to RM2,900 per ton metric last month.

"From here we could see the competitiveness in business among suppliers and traders.

"In this case of course traders who want to profit more will increase the price and consumers will soon stop buying from them," the statement from KPDNKK states.

However, non subsidised cooking oil is still under the Price Control and Anti-Prefiteering (AKAP) 2011, consumers can file a complaint to the ministry if they find traders or suppliers unreasonably raising their prices.

The public are also advised not to believe or spread any unverified information in the social media on the cooking oil issue and for any enquiries they can contact the KPDNKK Ministry at 1-800-886-800.
--Malaysian Digest

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