PUTRAJAYA: A large-scale initiative to reduce the prices of goods and the role of middlemen, as well as to boost the production of basic goods, is to be implemented soon.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said the initiative, called the 100 Basic Goods Programme (BA100), will be handled by the National Cost of Living Action Council (MTSHN).
It is part of the government’s efforts to check the cost of living, said Dr Wan Azizah, who chairs MTSHN.
The implementation of BA100 will involve the Entrepreneur Develop-ment Ministry, Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Ministry and Angkatan Koperasi Kebangsaan Malaysia Bhd (Angkasa).
Dr Wan Azizah said the cooperative movement with 6.1 million members could play an important role in helping the government tackle the cost of living through the development of wholesale, retail and agricultural programmes.
“Wholesale and retail involve strengthening the cooperative distribution centre. Retail involves development of cooperative products.
“Agriculture involves livestock, fisheries, vegetables and fruits,” she told a media conference after chairing the third MTSHN meeting here yesterday.
Among those present were Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail, Home Minister
Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Entrepreneur Development Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Redzuan Mohd Yusof.
Saifuddin said BA100 comprises 100 basic goods like flour, sugar, rice and other items normally purchased by the public, based on the observation of the cooperative.
“The idea is that if they can list these 100 basic goods and control the ecosystem involving wholesale, distribution and retail and have shops, then the 100 items can be sold in their shops at lower prices,” he said.
Meanwhile, Dr Wan Azizah said MTSHN had also agreed to expand the QFish programme nationwide by adopting the Individual Quick Freezing technology to help the government stabilise the prices of fish in the market.
“This QFish programme aims to increase the fish output capacity from 561 tonnes to 3,500 tonnes a year,” she said, adding that the initiative would help overcome fish shortage in the market.
Dr Wan Azizah also announced the appointment of five new members of MTSHN – International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Ignatius Darrel Leiking; Attorney-General Tommy Thomas and Jeli Member of Parliament Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.
The others are Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation Sdn Bhd (MDEC) chief executive officer Surina Shukri and Malaysian Youth Council president Jufitri Joha.