No rush to hoard foodstuff


By RENA LIMN. TRISHA

The usual shopping scene at the Bayan Baru public market in Penang. — Photos: ZHAFARAN NASIB and LIM BENG TATT/The Star

AFTER going through several phases of the movement control order (MCO), most people have adapted to buying a week’s supply or more to avoid going out often.

This is the observation of Bayan Baru Market Traders Association chairman Tan Ken Keong, who says market-goers nowadays buy only what they need for a week or so before coming back the following week.

“This has become a new norm, ” he said when met on Saturday.

“They won’t hoard stuff, knowing there will be ample supply from grocery providers.

“They know there is no reason to worry and won’t resort to panic buying.

“On Penang island alone, we have over 10 markets so there is no reason to panic buy as there are still many options for shoppers.”

Shelves are full as shoppers take their time choosing items at the grocery section at Sunshine Square in Bayan Baru.Shelves are full as shoppers take their time choosing items at the grocery section at Sunshine Square in Bayan Baru.

Tan was commenting on the impending declaration of a state of emergency which could lead to panic buying among the public for fear of a possible lockdown.

He said shoppers were well-informed nowadays and market- goers did not show any panic buying behaviour after news broke out that there could be a state of emergency.

Vegetable vendor Steven Kaoy, 40, said the crowds at the market were fairly distributed over the weekend.

“For now, many shoppers come on a weekly basis.

“There is enough food supply for everyone so I think the people are not overly worried about the matter, ” he said.

Tan says shoppers know there will be ample supply from grocery providers while Kaoy (bottom) says market crowds were fairly distributed over the weekend.Tan says shoppers know there will be ample supply from grocery providers while Kaoy (bottom) says market crowds were fairly distributed over the weekend.

Sunshine Wholesale Mart Sdn Bhd director Yee Kam Ming said no long queue was spotted at the hypermarket in Bayan Baru as customers seemed calm and did not resort to panic buying.

“Penangites seem calm about things and there was no sudden surge of crowds to our hypermarket.“We do not see the need to over stock and all our supplies should last us a week, ” he said.

Gama Supermarket and Departmental Store senior manager Leong Hau Soon said their stock should be enough to meet customers’ needs.

“There is no need to panic buy as there is enough for everyone, ” she said.

“We want our customers to shop safely at Gama as we always care for our customers.

“We just want them to follow the standard operating procedure set by the authorities, ” she added.

The Star reported that the Cabinet meeting on Friday had discussed various options to step up the fight against Covid-19.

The steps include possibly declaring a state of emergency to curtail the surge of infections.

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