He said supermarkets and suppliers had given their assurance that there would be enough food throughout the movement control order period until March 31.
“Although several items like eggs, tissue paper, face masks and hand sanitiser are reportedly out of stock in many places, there is assurance that more supply will be coming and there will be sufficient stock.
“The situation is still under control and the ministry is in the middle of discussions with suppliers to increase the stock, especially face masks and hand sanitiser,” he said at a press conference after conducting a survey at Mydin Jalan Baru near Bukit Mertajam on Tuesday.
He and his deputy director Chin Ching Chung were checking supermarkets in Penang after news about panic buying went viral.
Mohd Ridzuan urged the public to calm down and not buy items in excess.
“The supermarkets and public markets will stay open as announced by the Prime Minister.
“People can get food supplies and essentials as usual. Therefore, there is no need to buy excessively as it will only cause wastage.
“As for the ministry, we have a task force to monitor the demand and supply of food and goods.
“We will also monitor if there is a rise in the price of items sold.
“I urge businesses not to take advantage of the situation to hike up the prices of goods.
“We will take stern action against those found to be profiteering and the public must report to us if they encounter any such cases,” he said.
The public can convey their enquiries or complaints via 04-575 1703 on the mainland and 04-255 2456 on the island.
Meanwhile, Mydin Mohamed Holdings Bhd northern region manager S. Vishnu Varthana said the management had decided to start their daily business hours 30 minutes earlier until March 31 at selected outlets, especially for senior citizens.
“We will have a special counter for them.”
The business hours at Mydin Jalan Baru will be from 7.30am till 11pm. Previously, the outlet opened at 8am.
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