SEREMBAN: The government should quickly add more items to the festive season price control scheme for Hari Raya Aidilfitri, says Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan.
The Umno deputy president questioned why the scheme, which comes into force on Wednesday (April 21), will only involve 12 critical items for a start.
"Is it fair to let the people continue to suffer while waiting for the government to list other items in the scheme.
"And also, why only wait for the arrival of the festival to do so?
"The government needs to be proactive to prevent rise in prices rather than be reactive," he said in a Facebook post Tuesday (April 20).
Mohamad said the people had to grapple with rising prices again although the economic recovery has been slow and unemployment high.
He said the increase in prices of goods has affected many Malaysians and asked if this was due to inadequate food supply.
He added enforcement carried out by the authorities also appears to be ineffective as suppliers continue to take advantage of the situation.
"Proactive governance is needed to control the prices of basic goods so that the people do not continue to suffer.
"The authorities must not only ensure there is sufficient food supply and security, but must make sure the prices are well within the peoples' purchasing power," he said, adding that the government has so far failed to address the problem.
He said the government also needs to review the Malaysia Food Bank Programme to help the needy.
New strategies and incentives must be offered to get more manufacturers, corporate companies and supermarkets to support the programme.
Prior to this, the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry said the 12 items that will be placed under price control until May 20 include chicken, chicken eggs, beef and seafood.
It said about 20 more food items will be included in the list soon.
About 2,300 ministry enforcement officers will conduct price checks at wet markets and supermarkets across the country.