Food supply a global issue too, says PM

KUALA LUMPUR: A cautious approach is being taken to address the latest global developments, especially the food supply and rising food prices which have affected the well-being of Keluarga Malaysia (Malaysian Family), says Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

To manage the economic crisis due to the pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine conflict, he said the government has formulated short-, medium- and long-term measures to stabilise food supplies and prices.

Ismail Sabri said Malaysia, the Asian region and other regions in the world were not spared from the impact of the crisis, adding that the global supply chain was also affected, resulting in world food prices rising by more than 30%.

Short-term measures include the abolition of the approved permit (AP) requirement to import foodstuffs and a ban imposed on the export of chicken, he added.

“There is also the channelling of financial assistance directly to the people, especially the B40 group, starting July 1, establishing the Agrofood Fund with an allocation of RM500mil through soft loans to industry players and creating buffer stocks for chicken, meat and fish to ensure adequate food supply,” he said.

The Prime Minister said this in his congratulatory speech at the investiture ceremony of federal awards and honours in conjunction with the official birthday of Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah at Istana Negara here yesterday.

Ismail Sabri said the five short-term measures were among the government’s approaches to protecting the entire Malaysian Family from the burden of rising prices of goods, apart from various subsidies which are expected to reach RM71bil this year.

He said these were followed by several medium- and long-term measures to stabilise the supply and prices of food.

In the meantime, he said Malaysia would continue to voice its stand in safeguarding the interest and sovereignty of the country as well as bringing the voice for global peace into the international arena.

Elaborating, he said his recent visits abroad clearly proved the good cooperation and strong diplomatic relations between Malaysia and other countries.

Apart from that, the government will continue to work in the spirit of inclusivity, togetherness and contentment as a Malaysian Family across political beliefs and ideologies for the people’s welfare.

He said all challenges would be faced together collectively by finding common ground and putting aside any differences.

Meanwhile, to ensure that no Malaysian Family is left behind in the country’s development, the Prime Minister said the government was constantly improving programmes under the social protection agenda throughout the country.

In this regard, he said the government implemented the first phase of the Keluarga Malaysia Hardcore Poverty Eradication Programme last month involving 80 urban and rural localities, including Orang Asli settlements.

“We will continue to protect the lives of the poor and the low-income group so that they can enjoy a comfortable life,” he said.

On the country’s transition to the endemic phase of Covid-19, Ismail Sabri said various standard operating procedures were relaxed from May 1 to allow the people to enjoy a normal life and boost their morale.

At the same time, the Health Ministry would continue to monitor the Covid-19 situation and work with the World Health Organisation to ensure public health stability was at a satisfactory level and functioning well, he said.

On behalf of the government, public service and the people, the Prime Minister congratulated Sultan Abdullah on His Majesty’s official birthday celebration.

“May His Majesty the King, Raja Permaisuri Agong and the whole royal family always be blessed by Allah with health, long life and bestowed with the highest glory.

“His Majesty is the umbrella to the people. May Their Majesties continue ascending the throne with sovereignty, honour and greatness and always be under the protection of Allah,” he said. — Bernama

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