KUALA LUMPUR, May 27 — The government’s move to abolish Approved Permits (APs) for food imports was a proactive short-term measure to solve the supply shortage of some essential items in the country.

The National Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia (NCCIM) treasurer-general Datuk AT Kumararajah said it was a ‘good’ surprise move in making sure an adequate supply of the goods for the population.

However, he said the move was not suitable for the long term as it would have a negative impact, especially on domestic suppliers.

“I think the government is very proactive in trying to manage the short-term supply issues, but we can’t have this AP abolishment forever, because in the medium or long term it can cause our domestic players to suffer.

“Hence, let’s just use it as a short-term tool until the market stabilises,” he said when appearing as a guest on Bernama TV’s The Nation programme today.

He stressed that the government needed to draw up a long-term plan to find a solution to the food deficit and ensure food security for the people.

He added that the plan should also include how food subsidies can be improved so that they provide a thorough solution to the target group.

Recently, Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, said that the government had agreed to lift the requirement for permits for the import of food items with immediate effect, to ensure sufficient food supply in the country. — Bernama