Minister: Putrajaya to form high-level panel on foreigner domination of wet markets

Federal Territories Minister Khalid Abdul Samad (left) Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Salahuddin Ayub at a press conference at Parliament in Kuala Lumpur April 1, 2019. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
Federal Territories Minister Khalid Abdul Samad (left) Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Salahuddin Ayub at a press conference at Parliament in Kuala Lumpur April 1, 2019. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

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KUALA LUMPUR, April 1 — The federal government will convene a special committee involving four ministries to tackle the issue of foreigners dominating local wet markets in the country, Datuk Salahuddin Ayub said today.

The agriculture and agro-based industry minister said the Cabinet decided on the move during its meeting last Friday.

“Many of these foreign business owners are active within wholesale and wet markets which require collaborative efforts from all four ministries,” he said during a press conference here.

Aside from Salahuddin’s ministry, others involved are the Home Ministry, Federal Territories Ministry, and Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry.

Among issues to be examined were price increases, middlemen profiteering, public safety, competition among local sellers, and impact towards agriculture suppliers, he said.

The secretaries-general of the four ministries will conduct preliminary meetings, after which the ministers will come together.

“It is very likely the meeting between secretaries-general will take place by the week as I have instructed my officers to prepare the necessary details required immediately.

“However there is still a need for meetings at the officer-level to ensure relevant information and documents can be prepared beforehand for any unscheduled ministers’ meeting,” he said.

Asked when the ministers will meet regarding this, Salahuddin said they were aiming for this to be within the month.

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