The issue of the sudden jump in vegetable prices has caused public grievance, more so as society has yet to fully recover from the impacts of Covid-19.
Earlier, the media reported that the prices of certain vegetables have soared by as much as 200%. These include: cauliflower (RM7 to RM16 per kg), choy sum (RM3 to RM9), broccoli (RM8 to RM20) and sawi (RM5 to RM8).
As vegetables are an essential food item, the government should take immediate measures to address this problem to ease the burden of the rakyat who are already shouldering a heavy burden. More worryingly, a survey by the Consumer Association of Penang (CAP) discovered that the prices of other greens are expected to climb next week.
The media had also reported that among the factors contributing towards this spike were uncertain weather, crop damage, reduced imports coupled with rising logistics costs. Additionally, the sharp spike in the cost of fertilisers, pesticides and herbicides also led to the rise in vegetable prices.
Although weather and disasters are beyond human control, we are confident that the government can still play a role in controlling vegetable prices, as it does for other essential items.
Problem solving should not only focus on ceiling pricing alone, but also take into account the plight of traders, wholesalers, gardeners and farmers involved. In short, the interests of all parties, including users and consumers, must be protected.
Therefore, we wish to propose to the government to immediately conduct a meeting with all stakeholders to discuss the problems and solutions in order to achieve a win-win situation for all parties.
MCA Youth is confident that the relevant ministries and agencies or departments will act immediately and collaborate with the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry to ensure that all public grievances can be addressed and resolved.
Jacob Lee Yee Yuan , MCA Youth Spokesperson