Subsidies for imported white rice is govt's 'last resort' to overcome shortage, says Pasir Gudang MP

PASIR GUDANG: The government is expected to introduce a subsidy programme for imported white rice as a last resort to deal with the ongoing shortage of local rice, says Hassan Karim.

The Pasir Gudang MP urged the public not to panic buy as there are enough daily necessities, especially white rice, in Johor.

"I recently visited the rice stockpile in Johor managed by Padiberas Nasional Bhd (Bernas). I assure you that we have enough rice for the people, especially in Johor," he said after visiting a supermarket in Taman Cendana on Tuesday (Sept 26).

Hassan added that besides white rice, there are enough supplies of sugar, cooking oil and eggs.

"I would like to thank Deputy Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Minister Fuziah Salleh, the Agriculture and Food Security Ministry and Bernas for their attention and aid given to the people in Pasir Gudang.

"The Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Ministry is also planning to conduct more Jualan Rahmah programmes here in October, which will benefit lower-income families," he said, adding that extra attention is needed in Pasir Gudang which has a population of over half a million.

Meanwhile, Johor Padi and Rice Regulation director Mohd Alieff Sabeh said that the local white rice supply shortage is expected to stabilise within a month following various intervention measures by the Agriculture and Food Security Ministry.

"In Johor, we receive around 10 complaints daily from the public who want to know where they can buy local white rice.

"We have also conducted surveillance on claims involving supermarkets allegedly stockpiling local.

"So far, we have not found any violations and all supplies are for sale," he said.

Mohd Alieff said Johor has also received 190 tonnes of local white rice from Sept 8 to 15, which have been distributed through 35 distribution centres owned by the Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority (Fama) and 11 wholesalers.

"We have received another 30 tonnes on Sept 25 and another 30 tonnes on Sept 26, which were distributed immediately," he said.

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