Not inhumane to deny foreigners local rice, says Umno Youth chief

A proposal to stop foreigners from buying subsidised local rice amid a shortage has sparked controversy. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, September 22, 2023.

A PROPOSAL to restrict foreigners from buying local rice is a temporary solution to the shortage crisis, Umno Youth chairman Akmal Saleh said today. 

He said the restriction should not be seen as inhumane as the shortage affects Malaysians. 

“It is more inhumane when Malaysians watch foreigners buying local rice that is subsidised by the government. 

“When there is enough rice and there is a surplus, then let anyone buy it. This is an issue of not enough rice (for locals),” Akmal wrote on Facebook. 

Akmal was responding to a statement by Subang and Shah Alam Consumers Association president Dr Jacob George calling the proposal to prohibit foreigners from buying Malaysian rice “inhumane”

Akmal urged George get in touch with reality.

“Please go out and see for yourself instead of just sitting at home and eating imported rice,” Akmal said.

Earlier this week, Agriculture and Food Security Minister Mohamad Sabu rejected Akmal’s suggestion to stop foreigners from purchasing local rice. 

He said foreigners must also eat while they help to develop the country.

“Don’t forget that their work and services here also contribute to the development of our country,” he said. 

Akmal, who is the Malacca Rural Development, Agriculture and Food Security Committee chairman, had said that rice is subsidised by the government. 

“So when there is a decline in supply in the market, locals must be given priority over foreigners.

“If the ministry cannot allow this throughout Malaysia, it can at least implement it in Malacca,” Akmal had said. – September 22, 2023.

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