Najib offers Rafizi a workable solution to resolve nationwide chicken, egg woes

INCARCERATED ex-premier Datuk Seri Najib Razak has taken a swipe at Berrsatu Youth chief Wan Ahmad Fayhsal Wan Ahmad Kamal (WAF) for his “short-cut, simple but lazy suggestion” to control the price of chicken and eggs.

The Machang MP has apparently released a 53-second TikTok video to snub Economic Affairs Minister Rafizi Ramli by merely quoting several acts/regulations which according to him were able to control the price of poultry products.

“It is not that the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government (under Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin) and the Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob administration had never done that,” penned the former Pekan MP in a recent Facebook post.

Pic credit: The Statesman

“Prices have been controlled since April 2021 until now with both chicken and eggs were once prohibited from export for a period of several months before their exports were resumed.

“Did these methods ever solve the problem? The problem of lack of supply and high prices still exists today. Only insane people like WAF would propose ideas that have been proven to fail for two years to solve the said issue.”

According to Najib, the sudden spike in chicken and egg prices started before last year’s Hari Raya (May 2021), only for the actions of the PN government at that time to further disrupt the industry structure and demand-supply situation.

In fact, Najib claimed that he had previously warned that actions by the Government to control the price of chicken and eggs without solving the critical problem would only trigger a lack of supply which would eventually cause prices to rise again later.

“Who wants to breed chicken if the production cost is much higher than the cost of selling? This will cause many entrepreneurs to go out of business or reduce production which will eventually cause a lack of supply,” he justified. “This is the most basic question. Anyone who understands economics will be aware of this.”

Among his recommendations include:

  • Providing subsidies for chicken feed and electricity cost to farmers;
  • Solve manpower crunch by prioritising the livestock and agriculture sectors in the hiring of foreign workers; and
  • State governments can allocate abandoned land to establish a FELDA-style scheme for the livestock and agriculture sectors.

“But the PN and Ismail Sabri governments were very stubborn, hence problem pertaining to lack of supply of chicken/eggs and their high prices cannot be solved until today,” Najib pointed out.

“Yes, controlling prices or banning exports does not solve the problem. This has been proven since two years ago.”

Likewise, Najib justified that blaming the consumers or telling them not to eat chicken and eggs when their prices are high also does not solve the problem because both are the most basic food and as well as bring the cheapest source of protein for the people.

“The demand for chickens and eggs is highly inelastic and difficult to reduce. Never tell the people to stop buying or eating chicken and eggs,” he asserted. “So, we have to focus on the supply-side solution – namely supply and production costs that I suggested almost two years ago.” – Dec 26, 2022

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