BERA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob says cooperatives nationwide could play a role to help overcome the problem of rising prices of goods and reduce the stress and financial burden of the people affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said one of the ways would be through the setting up of a wholesale cooperative to supply goods in bulk at cheap prices to all cooperatives and this would enable the people to get goods at cheaper prices.
"Cooperatives can play a role in helping to reduce pressure on the people. There are many cooperatives, but most of them buy goods from wholesale shops in small quantities, such as rice or sugar at round 100 to 200 packets a month.
"If a special wholesale cooperative exits, they (cooperatives) can buy in bulk, which will be cheaper. If the price is cheaper, more people will buy at cooperatives," he said when opening the annual general meeting of the Bera District Smallholders Cooperative in Kampung Batu Papan here Sunday (Dec 12).
He said the proposed setting up of a wholesale cooperative would be discussed in more detail with the relevant parties, including Entrepreneur and Cooperative Development Minister Tan Sri Noh Omar and the Malaysian Cooperative Commission (SKM).
On the skyrocketing price of chicken, Ismail Sabri said the government had taken steps address the problem by importing supplies from China and Thailand.
Unfortunately, there were some quarters making false claims on the halal status of the imported chicken, he added.
The prime minister said the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) has strict standard operating procedures (SOP) in granting the halal status for imported chicken and should not be doubted.
"Before the halal approval is given, Jakim will go to the place to make an inspection first. After it is confirmed that it is halal, then the halal stamp (logo) is issued... this halal status is not only in terms of the slaughtering process, but many other aspects, including cleanliness.
"For the halal process, it also involves the aspect of transportation, where the goods cannot be mixed with non-halal goods,” he added.
Sharing his experience, Ismail Sabri said that when he was Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister, he had proposed to the government to import meat from one Islamic country, but the plan was scrapped after Jakim found it did not meet the cleanliness aspect, although the slaughter process was halal.
As such, the prime minister called on the public not to worry about the halal status of the imported chicken. - Bernama