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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Cooking oil price still remain for now


PETALING JAYA: The price of cooking oil will remain the remain for now.

Deputy Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Tan Lian Hoe, who was quoted by Bernama as saying this yesterday, also said the current shortage was mainly because of panic buying following rumours of an impending price increase.

"There is enough cooking oil in the country. I hope consumers will not listen to rumours. There will be no price increase unless it is recommended by the cabinet," she said after a visit to the Tesco hypermarket in Mutiara Damansara, near here.


Tan said steps were being taken to get the Malaysian Palm Oil Board to speed up the supply of cooking oil to all retail outlets.

Cooking oil is a price-controlled item.

The ministry is monitoring the situation and traders who jack up the price of cooking oil risk being charged under the Anti-Profiteering Act.


Tan also said it was crucial for consumers to support the move to reduce the use of plastic bags instead of complaining about the ban on their use on Saturdays.

She said on an average, Malaysians used eight billion plastic bags a year and the staggering price of petroleum was causing a huge increase in the production cost of plastic bags.

In Seremban, Patrick Sennyah reports that the state Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Department will distribute about 12,000kg of cooking oil to various districts following complaints of a shortage.


Its director, Norashiken Ishak, said this was to ensure consumers received sufficient supply and were not forced to purchase cooking oil at high prices from unscrupulous traders.

"About 12,000kg of cooking oil will be distributed to five main wholesalers before it is channelled to retailers state-wide.

"Our focus, however, will be on areas where there is a serious shortage, such as Seremban, Port Dickson, Rembau and Bahau in Jempol."

Although the situation in the state is under control, the department has received reports that some traders are hoarding their supplies so as to cash in later.

"We will take action against those found increasing their prices and also hoarding," Norashiken said, adding that the shortage in supply was because producers had failed to meet the increasing demand since early last month.

Source: News Straits Times

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