KOTA KINABALU, Jan 17 — Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi today warned subsidised cooking oil packaging companies to conduct their businesses in accordance with the conditions set to ensure that there is always sufficient supply in the market.

He said companies appointed by his ministry must adhere to the conditions set to avoid any leakages in the supply of controlled items and stern action will be taken in the event of irregularities.

Nanta said the companies involved must ensure that cooking oil in one kilogramme (kg) packets reaches the targeted group.

“There shouldn’t be any leakages or companies doing things that are not allowed … such as selling it elsewhere for a higher price.

“If this happens, we will be forced to take stern action against the companies involved. We will be strict to ensure there is ample supply of cooking oil in the market,” he told reporters after launching a price standardisation programme at Sepanggar Port here today.

He was replying to a question on the steps taken by the ministry to overcome the problem of inadequate supply of subsidised cooking oil in one kg packets in the market, which has become a common complaint among consumers.

Nanta said the ministry had taken note of the issue and was drawing up more comprehensive strategies to overcome the problem.

“In the short term, we will monitor (the issue) and also formulate other strategies for the long term,” he said.

On the price standardisation programme, Nanta said the federal government had allocated RM40 million this year to run the programme for essential items such as sugar, cooking oil and wheat flour.

Meanwhile, Nanta said two main sugar suppliers in the country, Central Sugars Refinery Sdn Bhd and MSM Malaysia Holdings Bhd, have brought in more than 100 containers each of sugar a month to Sabah to ensure there is adequate supply.

“This should be enough for the moment. We have not received any reports of shortages in the state. I am praying that the chain is not broken and the item reaches its target group.

“The ministry is very appreciative of the cooperation given by all parties involved, including the management of the Sepanggar Port, in ensuring there is enough supply,” he added. — Bernama