Daily Express
INDEPENDENT NATIONAL NEWSPAPER OF EAST MALAYSIA
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Shortage of cooking oil, sugar in some places

Published on: Thursday, July 03, 2014

Kota Kinabalu: Consumers should consider buying cooking oil and sugar at Kedai Rakyat 1Malaysia (KR1M) as there is enough supply of these items at the shops at the moment.

Sabah Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism Ministry Director Severinus Tukah said there are five KR1Ms - in Kolombong, Putatan, Tuaran, Kimanis and Beaufort - that consumers can go to.

"During the working visit of the Ministry's Secretary-General Datuk Seri Alias Ahmad here, we visited the KR1M in Putatan and were pleased to see ample supply of cooking oil of various brands and sugar at the shop.

"Hence, KR1M is an alternative for the consumers to patronise when other shops are out of the items," he said, Wednesday.

Severinus was commenting on public complaints that a number of sundry shops and supermarkets have run out of stock on the two items.

There were also complaints that there is inconsistent supply of the two items with some retail shops like in Papar, Keningau and Tenom limiting the sale of cooking oil and sugar.

Each person is only allowed to buy two kilogrammes of the subsidised cooking oil in plastic and sugar.

In Tenom, there are claims of consumers having difficulty in getting cooking gas while in Keningau, consumers are only allowed to buy a bottle of cooking oil each from grocery shops.

Ironically, at the 1Malaysia shop in this district there are consumers allowed to purchase up to 10 plastics of cooking oil at once.

Elsewhere in the West Coast it seems there is no problem for consumers, especially those preparing for the Hari Raya Aidilfitri, to get their supply of this essential item.

Checks at major districts in the East Coast showed no reports received on insufficiency of cooking oil supply so far. Both the Ministry offices in Sandakan and Tawau reported they did not receive any complaint on any insufficiency of supply of essential items, including cooking oil.

To a question, Severinus said he did not rule out a possibility of traders hoarding the two important items so as to hike the prices when the demand rises.

He said it is an offence for any trader to indiscriminately increase the prices of controlled items under Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act 2011.

Hence, he said the enforcement unit will be checking sundry shops, mini supermarkets and supermarkets on the supply of cooking oil and sugar to see whether there is a shortage.

"The public can also channel their complaints to us when they encounter such shortage and the name of the shop as well as location by contacting our toll free hotline at 1-800-886-800 or contact nearby offices of the Ministry.

On Monday, Alias assured the people of sufficient supply of essential items such as cooking oil, sugar and flour for the coming Raya festive season.