PUTRAJAYA, Nov 8 — The Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry (KPDNKK) will come out with a list of 285 brands of subsidised cooking oil soon in a bid to prevent public confusion between subsidised and recycled cooking oil.
Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin said the initiative was also taken to prevent irresponsible quarters from taking advantage in selling recycled cooking oil as subsidised cooking oil in packets.
“We will announce the brands of subsidised cooking oil so that the people will know which is subsidised cooking oil. If not listed, then it is not subsidised cooking oil,” he told a press conference after attending the ministry’s Integrity Day 2016 here today.
Hamzah said the ministry would also convene a meeting with recycled cooking oil entrepreneurs soon to discuss matters including packaging and targeted consumers of recycled cooking oil.
He said the packaging of recycled cooking oil should differ from subsidised cooking oil so as not to confuse the consumers.
“Recycled cooking oil is not necessarily sold for human consumption, but also for other purposes, such as in the production of animal feed, soap and biodiesel,” he said.
Meanwhile, Kuala Lumpur Bumiputera Petty Traders and Hawkers Association vice-president Muhamad Baba Kutty said over 69,000 of petty traders and hawkers in the capital would be affected if the ministry decided to restrict purchase of subsidised cooking oil in 1kg packets by food stall operators and hawkers.
He said the mechanism was not the best solution to tackle the current supply shortage following the rationalisation of cooking oil price.
“Most of the traders and hawkers purchasing the subsidised cooking oil are middle-income earners who are trying to run a small food stall to earn extra income.
“Their sales are not that high and some of them have to pay rent or certain fees for their stall. If the restriction is enforced, it will definitely reduce their profit margin,” he told Bernama.
It was reported that the ministry was mulling over a mechanism to restrict petty traders and hawkers from buying subsidised cooking oil in 1kg packets in a bid to put balance on the stocks of the commodity in the market.
Malaysian Muslim Consumers Association chief activist Datuk Nadzim Johan said the mechanism would only bring about bigger negative impact, especially in the price of food, which would eventually burden the consumers.
“We want a more proactive and comprehensive solution to the cooking oil crisis, which will not bring about negative impact to the consumers and traders,” he said.
In SEREMBAN, the Negri Sembilan branch of KPDNKK seized 26,000kg of cooking oil worth RM59,000 in a raid on a premises at the Tuanku Jaafar industrial area at noon today.
Its deputy director Saifulbahri Abdul Kadir said the premises was found to have been operating without licence.
He said so far, 25 complaints on shortage of cooking oil supply were received in the state, 20 of which had been solved.
In LANGKAWI, Kuah assemblyman Nor Saidi Nanyan call for an immediate review on the quota of cooking oil supply to Langkawi following shortage of the commodity over the past week.
He said he had also been deluged with complaints on cooking oil shortage from consumers in the island, most of whom demanding for an immediate solution to the problem.
“It can be said that the shortage of cooking oil is occurring at all sundry shops here. There is no supply coming in yesterday and the day before,” he told reporters after running a check on several sundry shops and mini markets here today.
He said immediate solution to the problem was vital as the demand for cooking oil was expected to go up during the year-end school holiday as more tourists would flock to the island, besides weddings and other feasts to be held by the local residents.
In TAWAU, Tawau branch of KPDNKK chief called on wholesalers to ensure adequate supply of cooking oil in 1kg packets at all supermarkets and grocery shops in the district.
He said this was because any shortage or late delivery of cooking oil supply would create panic among the consumers.
“I also call on consumers not to delve in panic buying. For example, a supermarket here received 60 boxes of 1kg cooking oil from the wholesaler today, but in only half an hour, it was all sold out,” he told Bernama when contacted today.
So far, he said seven wholesalers were appointed to distribute cooking oil in 1kg packets to consumers in Tawau, Kunak, Semporna and Lahad Datu.
Bernama checks at several sundry shops here found only two were selling cooking oil in 1kg packets, while the rest had not received any supply for the past three to seven days. — Bernama