KOTA KINABALU: Excessive buying of subsidised cooking oil in 1kg packets is the reason for its shortage in the state.
State Community Development and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Jainab Ahmad Ayid said people have been hoarding the cooking oil after subsidies were removed on Jan 1.
“I saw a man buying five packets of oil at a shop in Tawau and I was wondering whether his wife and children would come later to buy more,” she said in an interview.
Jaineb added petty traders selling cooked food were also using subsidised cooking oil meant for lower income families.
She said some traders could also be hoarding subsidised cooking oil.
The subsidised cooking oil in 1kg packets is sold at RM2.50 while the non-subsidised ones in 2kg bottles cost between RM10 and RM12.
Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry Sabah deputy director Yahya Sujak said demand for palm oil in Sabah was more than 6,700 tonnes per month prior to the rationalisation.
He said the 24 repackers in the state responsible for producing 1kg packets had been given a monthly quota of 3,381 tonnes per month.
On the shortfall of the non-subsidised bottled cooking oil, he said it was partly due to wholesalers being reluctant to place orders from factories for the product as they were initially uncertain of the price mechanisms without the subsidies.
“The recent year-end holidays also resulted in a slight delay in shipments from the peninsula,” Yahya explained.
He added 103 tonnes of non-subsidised cooking had arrived in Sabah and were being distributed to retail outlets around the state.