GEORGE TOWN, March 22 — The supply of basic necessities in Penang is sufficient although there were cases of panic buying at some of the state’s supermarkets until yesterday.
Penang Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs office director Mohd Ridzuan Ab Ghapar said investigations conducted by enforcement officers found that four supermarkets on the island were the target of panic buying.
“I urge the people to stop panic buying immediately because there are enough essentials. It takes a bit of time to restock depleted goods such as rice, cooking oil, eggs, sardines and instant noodles to the four supermarkets.
“However, the essentials are still available at groceries and mini markets,” he told Bernama here today.
More than 100 business premises were inspected from Wednesday until yesterday to ensure adequate supply of basic necessities.
Mohd Ridzuan said that until today he had only received complaints about the shortage of face masks and expected that to be resolved soon.
“From our monitoring of the 16 premises selling face masks in Penang, only five shops in Seberang Perai Tengah have supplies. We will continue monitoring to ensure sufficient supply,” he said.
He said any complaints and inquiries can be referred to the trade enforcement office at 04-5751703 and 04-255 2435 for Seberang Perai and George Town areas respectively.
Meanwhile, checks at a supermarket in George Town found that people were still buying necessities in large quantities purportedly because they have many family members at home.
Consumer Mohd Syukri Abdul Razak, 45, said he had no choice but to buy essentials, especially rice, eggs, bread, sardines and chicken in large quantities as his household consisted of eight people including his mother, wife and five children.
“I work in manufacturing and factory operations are still going on. Today I am off, out buying household goods for a week. This is not panic buying but a weekly routine,” he said. — Bernama