CONSUMER associations want the federal and state authorities to take proactive measures to address the hike in prices of essential items.
Johor Consumers Movement Association chairman Md Salleh Sadijo said a mechanism to ease people’s suffering following the rise in the cost of living should be introduced.
He said several sectors of the economy came to a standstill when Malaysia imposed the movement control order to contain the spread of Covid-19.
“Among the sectors badly affected was agriculture where produce could not be harvested,” he said when contacted.
Salleh said there had also been a hike in prices of imported chicken feed following the Ukraine-Russia war.
He said the ongoing war was not helping the situation as wheat and natural gas from Ukraine could not be exported while Russia was facing worldwide sanctions.
“The entire world is facing this phenomenon of skyrocketing prices as demand exceeds supply,” said Salleh.
He expressed hope that the production, distribution and transportation system of essential goods could return to normalcy soon.
“Since these items are so critical to the well-being of the people, the government should be proactive by reducing import duties and giving subsidies,’’ he added.
Johor Bumiputra Consumer Association chairman Syed Abdullah Syed Mohamed said the state should outline plans to cushion the impact of rising prices of basic food items.
“Nothing much can be done to control the hike in prices of essential items as sellers and suppliers seem to have the upper hand,” he said, adding that federal and state agencies needed to work closely to help the rakyat at this difficult time.