GEORGE TOWN: Ensuring food security and food supply is at an optimum level should be the Penang government’s priority, said Yang di-Pertua Negri Tun Ahmad Fuzi Abdul Razak.
He said the Penang government must focus on food security programmes to ensure the state and its people are able to face the challenges of inflation or hyperinflation, which was the most talked-about topic among economic analysts at this time.
“According to the Department of Statistics, the country’s Consumer Price Index in March 2022 increased by 2.2% to 125.6 from 122.9 in the same month last year.
“Meanwhile, the 2.2% increase in Penang’s inflation rate is similar to the rise in the national inflation rate. The inflation for food and non-alcoholic beverages recorded an increase of 3.5% due to the hike in food prices in March 2022, compared to the same month last year,” he said.
He said this in his opening address at the fifth session of the 14th Penang State Legislative Assembly yesterday.
Ahmad Fuzi, reported Bernama, said Penang was able to increase its agricultural production through the use of high yielding crop varieties in a short period of time and with the application of modern technology which involves growing crops without soil.
He said to ensure the sustainability of the agricultural sector, the role and active participation of the private sector was very much needed, especially for large-scale and high-tech agricultural methods.
He added that close cooperation between the state and the Federal Government was important to ensure that the proposed development and infrastructure projects were implemented according to schedule for the benefit of the people.
Ahmad Fuzi said under the Second Rolling Plan of the 12th Malaysia Plan, an allocation of RM997mil had been approved by the Federal Government for the implementation of 189 projects in Penang, comprising 163 physical projects and 26 non-physical projects.
He said taking into account the contribution of Penang to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as well as its recent investment performance, it was appropriate for the Federal Government to consider providing a higher development allocation for the state.
Earlier, Ahmad Fuzi inspected a guard of honour mounted by the Penang Federal Reserve Force, comprising three officers and 102 personnel of various ranks led by Deputy Supt Mohd Hakim Mohd Said, in conjunction with the opening of the state assembly sitting.