PETALING JAYA: The misuse of subsidised cooking oil should be considered a serious crime and deserves punishment under harsher laws, says Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
He said offenders should be charged with offences under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act, for example.
He added that the large difference in cost between prices of subsidised cooking oil and in the market could lead to higher instances of misuse.
The current market price for cooking oil is RM9 while subsidised cooking oil is RM2.50.
Najib then said that the government distributes 60,000 metric tonnes of cooking oil to manufacturers before it goes to suppliers and packaging companies.
That is equivalent to 60 million subsidised 1kg packets of cooking oil at RM2.50 per packet – the cheapest in the world. There are two kilograms a month for every 30 million Malaysians," said Najib in a Facebook post on Sunday (July 3).
"This packet of cooking oil should be enough as it is limited to domestic consumers – but a lot is misused by restaurants and factories or smuggled into neighbouring countries," he added.
"Currently the country and the world are experiencing food insecurity. Misusing subsidised cooking oil to the point that others may not be able to buy it also threatens the food security of the country," said Najib.
"It can be categorised under Sosma or the Prevention of Terrorism Act (Pota). It is time to apply harsher laws against this offence," he said.