MUAR: The price of rice will go down soon now that Padiberas Nasional Bhd (Bernas) no longer has a monopoly on rice imports, says Salahuddin Ayub.
The Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister said the ministry, the National Agriculture Advisory Council and the corporate sector would now have to come out with the best business model to import rice for the country.
"Bernas will still import rice, but there will also be other companies doing that," Salahuddin said in a press conference here on Wednesday (June 13).
He said this would benefit consumers and that it was important to get feedback from ordinary Malaysians on how to improve the country's rice imports and distribution.
Salahuddin said this after receiving a RM1mil donation for Tabung Harapan Malaysia from YKL Group chairman Yeo Koo Lian at Taman Sri Kaseh, Bakri near here.
Salahuddin said the Government's decision to break the Bernas monopoly would also ensure food security.
"We want to reduce the risk of being too dependent on a single party," he said.
Salahuddin said Malaysia presently imports most of its rice from China, Thailand and Vietnam.
He added that importers could now source its rice imports from any other country.