Mydin urges govt to allow rice imports

Noel Achariam

Mydin hypermarket managing director Ameer Ali Mydin says the government must look into raising local rice prices, which have remained stagnant since 2008. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, December 16, 2023.

PUTRAJAYA must allow retailers to import rice to curb shortages, and look into raising the ceiling price of local rice, Mydin hypermarket managing director Ameer Ali Mydin said.

“If the minister (Agriculture and Food Security Minister Mohamad Sabu) wants to solve the problem, he should allow retailers to import rice.

“If Mydin is allowed to import rice, we will sell it at RM32 per kg and not RM42 per kg,” he told The Malaysian Insight.

Ameer said if Mydin was allowed to import rice, there should not be any surcharge from Padiberas Nasional Bhd.

“(The imports) must not come with any restrictions or surcharges. That’s one solution to address the issue.”

He reiterated the company’s stand that the government must consider raising the ceiling price of rice from RM26 to RM32.

“(The government cannot solve the issue) by giving more subsidies, but by removing the price control.

“But it should still give targeted subsidies to the B40 group.”

Last month, Mohamad said any proposal to raise local rice prices would be fair to all stakeholders.

He said the current ceiling of RM26 per 10kg of local rice has been unchanged since 2008, and if there was any increase, retailers would have to discuss it with the Economy Ministry, Finance Ministry and Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Ministry.

Ameer said there was no shortage of imported rice, which costs RM42 for 10kg and RM21 for 5kg.

“Of course customers are disappointed that the issue of local rice supply has not been solved.

“The issue is that there is a differential of RM26 to RM42 for a 10kg packet of rice.”

He said though there was an increase in production, there was no real surge in the local rice supply.

“We hope the minister (Mohamad) will address issues related to rice and eggs. We have already asked Mohamad to raise the price of rice.

“The government however managed to solve the chicken issue when it removed the price controls.”

Mohammad said the issue was that India had banned exports of its local rice, only allowing the sale of Basmati rice

“When they did that, other countries also increased their selling price.

“We hope ministers will listen to stakeholders and solve the issue.” – December 16, 2023.

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