KUALA LUMPUR: The prices of goods are cheaper in Malaysia compared with other Asean countries, said Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin (pic).
"We should be proud as the prices of goods in Singapore are 70% higher while they are 71% more expensive in Brunei," said the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister.
Hamzah said this when answering a question raised by G. Manivannan (PKR-Kapar) in the Dewan Rakyat on Thursday (March 8) about the steps being taken to control the prices of goods.
Hamzah noted that the huge differences in prices are due to differences in the gross domestic product of the respective nations.
He said that the Government had already provided subsidies for basic goods such as rice, sugar, cooking oil, gas and flour.
Hamzah said that the Government also set price controls for specific items during festive seasons.
To a supplementary question by Manivannan on whether import permits would be lifted for food items such lentils, onions and coconuts to end supply monopolies of the items, Hamzah said this was not necessary.
He said that there were no restrictions on the imports of certain food items such as onions and potatoes.
However, he said some protection is given to manufacturers to import food items to ensure that quality and pricing of the items are maintained.