PUTRAJAYA: The relaxation of the movement control order (MCO) has caused the prices of goods to rise and return to normal as economic activities resumed and demand for goods increased, says the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister.
Datuk Alexander Nanta Linggi said the MCO led to a surplus of goods, forcing traders and suppliers to reduce prices.
"The situation is a bit different now after the relaxation of MCO with the implementation of conditional MCO, where most of the economic activities and people's lives have slowly returned to normal.
"In fact, as the festive season is approaching, demand for goods has increased.
"Realising that prices of goods could soar if not controlled, the ministry has taken proactive steps by implementing the festive season maximum price control scheme," he said on Friday (May 22).
He said claims by certain quarters that prices of goods, including chicken, were on the rise was a matter of perception, when in fact it was based on the economics of demand and supply.
Referring to a statement by PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who said the ministry had failed to take swift action to control prices of goods during the festive season, Nanta said the allegations were unfair and misleading.
He said the claims had sparked criticism against the ministry and its officials.
"I am also disappointed by the allegation made by Anwar that the price of chicken during the festive season of the Pakatan Harapan administration was at RM3 per kg compared to the current price of RM7.90 per kg.
"I would like to jog Anwar's memory that checks conducted on the previous gazetted record found that the maximum price of chicken was set at RM7.90 per kg, similar to the maximum set price in the current price control scheme.
Nanta said that pricing of consumer goods was not political but used mechanisms set by officials of various government agencies.
"This mechanism is similar to that used during the previous Pakatan administration," he said.
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