Keep a close eye on my officers, Shahrir tells ACA

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 03 May 2008

PUTRAJAYA: Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Shahrir Samad wants the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) to “keep a close eye” on his officers following recent investigations into diesel smuggling activities involving senior ministry personnel.

Shahrir said the arrests – two in Sabah and one in Sarawak – in the past two weeks had blemished the ministry’s image and he did not want anything like that to happen again.

The ACA officers also seized more than 200,000 litres of diesel with a market value of RM540,000. The trio, as well as the enforcement chiefs of Sabah and Sarawak, had been transferred to the ministry headquarters here and given desk duties pending completion of the probe, Shahrir told reporters after chairing his ministry’s post-Cabinet meeting yesterday.

In Alor Star, Consumers Association of Kedah president Datuk Yusoff Ismail said it was crucial to ensure there was enough stock of local super (ST) grade rice, as it catered for the lower-income group.

“I have checked many supermarkets and shops and cannot find ST-grade rice anymore. ST, the cheapest local variety, contains between 10% and 15% broken grains,” he said, adding that it retailed at between RM16.50 and RM17.50 per 10kg packet.

Insufficient supply: Teoh, who helps her father run a grocery shop in Alor Star, saidthey are no longer getting supply of the ST grade rice.

Teoh Hooi Chia, who helps her father run a grocery shop in Pekan China, said they were no longer getting the ST supply.

“We are getting SST (special super local) grade, which we sell at RM24 per 10kg packet,” she said, adding that the SST variety contained 5% broken grains.

“We do not have enough to cater to demand. We are imposing rationing as we want to ensure our regular customers get their supply,” she added.

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