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Anwar guarantees no increase in local rice price

The prime minister also says the government is open to negotiations on allocations for opposition MPs.

2 minute read
Customers compare rice prices at a supermarket in Ampang, Selangor.
Customers compare rice prices at a supermarket in Ampang, Selangor.

Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim yesterday assured that there would be no hike in local rice prices.

He said he had directed the relevant ministers to go down to the ground and monitor market prices as the government must address this issue seriously.

"While we assure that the price of local rice will not increase, there are reports of shortages in some areas that must be properly addressed. I also hope our honourable members understand the increase (for example) in onion prices.

"Since August, export duties on onions from India have risen by 40%… and certainly for us in Malaysia who buy onions from India, we will be affected by that price increase, just as India decided last month to restrict the export of white rice," he said when winding up the debate on the 12th Malaysia Plan Mid-Term Review for the finance ministry at the Dewan Rakyat.

Anwar, who is also the finance minister, said these developments were likely to force an increase in prices based on the supply and demand theory.
Therefore, the government has implemented measures, including additional subsidies, to keep the local rice price affordable, he added. 

Meanwhile, commenting on allocations for opposition MPs, Anwar reiterated the government's  willingness to engage in negotiations, as previously demonstrated by former prime minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

Anwar said he had appointed Deputy Prime Minister Fadillah Yusof as the government's representative to lead discussions on this matter.

"The final decision from the finance minister and prime minister, as approved by Bera (Ismail) during his time as prime minister, serves as the guideline we more or less adhere to. When it comes to allocations, discuss, negotiate… avoid arrogance and pride," he said.