Madani rice supposed to cut out cartels, says PM

KUALA LUMPUR: Madani rice is meant to cut out manipulation by cartels in the rice production industry, says Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, refuting claims that the initiative would lead to more monopolies.

“We are cutting cartel intervention. We will discuss this at the next Naccol meeting,” the Prime Minister said, referring to the National Action Council on Cost of Living.

ALSO READ: Umno Youth chief urges PM to think twice about Madani rice, says may only benefit cartels

Anwar was asked to respond to claims that the Madani rice proposal, which has yet to be implemented, would strengthen the hands of cartels.

He was speaking to reporters after launching the MyImpact SME Hub by Maybank at Menara Maybank here on Monday (Feb 19).

ALSO READ: Govt to finalise Madani rice price next week, says PM

Madani rice is a proposal to streamline all varieties of locally-produced white rice, which are sold at different prices, into one type that will be sold at a ceiling price of RM30 per 10kg.

However, critics such as Umno Youth chief Dr Akmal Saleh have warned that the initiative could strengthen the cartels that are currently controlling the rice industry and market.

ALSO READ: Malaysia Madani rice plan still needs Cabinet approval

Akmal alleged that Madani rice would lead to a drop in sales of locally-produced rice since the variety is a combination of local and imported grains, which is then sold at RM30 per bag.

In a Facebook post, Akmal said factories would rather produce the higher-priced Madani rice compared to the locally-produced ST15 variety that is currently sold at a ceiling price of RM26 per 10 kg.

The Madani rice proposal however has yet to be decided upon by the Cabinet.

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