24 May 2023
Press statement by MCA Spokesperson Saw Yee Fung
Interruption to sugar supplies needs to be probed thoroughly; Crack down on profiteers
Although the Minister of Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Dato’ Seri Salahuddin Ayub has asserted that our nation is not facing a sugar crisis as supplies for this raw material is under control, reports have emerged in the media that some states still encounter this predicament. This has led to confusion among the public especially in Penang. The government needs to uncover reasons as to why sugar supplies have been interrupted.
The confusion was further compounded when the party concerned issued a statement declaring that sugar supplies in Penang were not interrupted, but there was only a slight disruption involving retail sales.
The shortage or interruption of sugar supplies will certainly affect micro entrepreneurs such as cake and beverage sellers. They need this supply of sugar to be regular to be able to earn a daily income. If there is no sugar supply, their operations will definitely be affected.
Therefore, the time has come for the government and the related authorities to 'wake up from their slumber'. If this situation occurs as a result of the actions of a middleperson or profiteers who intend to hike prices which burden the buyer, appropriate action must be taken.
If this sugar supply problem is caused by the manufacturer, early notification should be conveyed immediately so that the situation does not become more complicated. If manufacturers have a problem that slows down production operations, they need to report the issue at once, so that wholesalers, retailers and consumers may seek other alternatives to address their needs.
The government needs to seriously tackle the issue of price manipulation of controlled items. On several occasions, the government has stressed that it will take stern action against those who hoard or manipulate the prices of controlled goods. Yet the problem persists. Is the government’s warning of no consequence to hoarders and profiteers? Or has the government and the authorities grown lenient against the related quartres to safeguard its own interest?