‘Rise in price of essentials hurting people’

Chieng (fourth from left) with the members at the celebration.

GROCERIES worth RM136.60 is not enough for most households to survive on for a week, let alone a month, says Bukit Assek assemblyman Joseph Chieng.

Speaking at the launch of Mid-Autumn Festival celebrations in Sibu, he pointed out that even RM200 was not sufficient for most families for their monthly needs.

Chieng said this in response to Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Deputy Minister Fauziah Salleh’s claim in a viral video that people needed only RM136.60 for a month’s groceries.

Fuziah, who lodged a police report on Sept 21, claimed that the video she had made several months ago had been taken out of context.

The original video, she said, was aimed at showing price comparisons between Mobile Rahmah Sales and a local supermarket in Langkawi, Kedah, and was not the entire monthly provisions for a family.

According to Chieng, prices of essential items like rice, noodles and most staple foods, including vegetables, had started to rise, and this was causing difficulties for the people.

He said high inflation was affecting the people, with many residents needing help.

Separately, he said the government should allow individual companies to import rice so consumers could benefit from cheaper prices.

Chieng said Padiberas Nasional Bhd (Bernas) should allow such practices instead of maintaining a monopoly over rice imports.

“It shouldn’t be this way. It should be open for individual companies to import cheaper rice for the benefit of our rakyat,” he said.

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