PETALING JAYA: With Hari Raya approaching and prices of certain essential food items soaring, the government has stepped in with a price control list that will be enforced over a longer period.
Instead of the usual 14-day enforcement, price controls for this Hari Raya will last for 30 days from April 21 to May 20.
Twelve food items from the four main categories of beef, chicken, eggs and seafood will be put under price control.
Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi, who disclosed this yesterday, said demand for the food items was expected to be high although celebrations would be moderate because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The price control list would be expanded to cover more items before Hari Raya, with about 20 more to be included, he said.
“Demand is expected to rise before and during Hari Raya, ” he said at a press conference to announce the ceiling price list.
The items include chicken eggs, live chickens, standard chicken (cleaned with head, feet and offal) and super chicken (cleaned without head, feet and offal).
Under the seafood category, mackerel (kembung), island mackerel (mambung), scad (selar) and mackerel tuna (tongkol) are the items listed.
Alexander said local and imported beef, including buffalo meat, was also put under the price control, excluding Sarawak.
He said the ministry decided to act due to complaints of soaring chicken prices.
“I’m aware of the complaints, including from wholesalers and sundry shop operators who revealed they were paying high prices for chicken supplied directly from farms.
“We looked into these complaints and found them to be factual, ” he said, adding that prices of imported livestock feed had gone up.
Alexander said a meeting was held recently with relevant stakeholders to ensure that chicken prices would remain below RM8 per kg during the price control period.
He said traders who hiked up prices of items under the control list could face fines between RM10,000 and RM250,000 or three years’ jail.