“Did Mat Sabu’s announcement to import eggs expose the egg cartel?” netizens wonder

TO say that netizens were not pleased about the supply shortage of eggs experienced during the final leg of former prime minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri’s administration would be a severe understatement, with many still blaming the previous government for the issue. 

However, there seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel now that Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s unity government had taken over Putrajaya and a new Agriculture and Food Security minister has entered the scene.  

Just last week, the minister in question – Mohammad Sabu, or more fondly known as Mat Sabu – announced that the Government had agreed to import chicken eggs from several foreign sources as a short-term solution to meet domestic demand.  

He also said his ministry has identified a number of sources to ensure the supply of chicken eggs in the market. 

Soon after the announcement, analysts and the general public had taken to social media to express their opinion on the matter, with some netizens noting that there seems to be an increase in the number of eggs on supermarket shelves following the announcement – and no, these eggs are not imported.  

This had led to netizens wondering if there is an egg cartel in the country, while others had speculated that local chicken farmers had intended to sell their eggs to Singapore instead of catering to the local market for higher prices.  

User @cyrildason said, “Let me summarise, okay. Retailers say that eggs are in short supply. I tried to look for it everywhere but I couldn’t find them. Then price of eggs went up. Mat Sabu said, ‘let’s import because we do not have enough [eggs] and suddenly the [Selangor Poultry Breeders Association] says ‘Wait. No. We have the eggs. Don’t import’. Do you see what just happened? One word: BUSTED.” 

Another user said: 

Another user questioned why chicken farmers prefer to sell their eggs to Singapore.  

“These are Grade C, made in Malaysia eggs. Three dollars for 10 eggs. Almost RM10. If they suffer a loss, they wouldn’t want to send the eggs to Singapore. Singapore already has three private poultry farms which are enough for local consumption,” said user @hellocallmezane. 

 “Whoever has an extra plot of land behind their houses can rear  4–5 chickens to be less reliant on the chicken industry,” said user @farizshah. 

Meanwhile, user @cikebal made a very strange observation: 

(I bought eggs from the store and in less than a week in one tray there would be 5–6 eggs that have gone bad to the point that they have turned black while others are still fresh. Are older eggs mixed with newer ones?)  

User @Anne_Abbot003 pointed out that the minister (Mat Sabu) should go ahead and import those eggs to teach unscrupulous retailers a lesson. 

“These people are so self-consumed in profiteering and in breaching business ethics and human values.” – Dec 15, 2022 

Main photo credit: Twitter 

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