Tajuddin: Unseen hands taking advantage of the local rice crisis

FORMER Pasir Salak MP and controversial figure Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman said the government must improve enforcement to overcome the manipulation of the white rice supply by irresponsible parties.Tajuddin, now the chairman of the non-governmental organisation Pasir Salak Bangkit, said the current limited supply of local white rice is likely to be caused by ‘unseen hands’ taking advantage of the situation.“In the current crisis, sometimes there are manufacturers and wholesalers who take advantage by keeping this stock of rice.Therefore, he added that the enforcement agencies from the Agriculture and Food Security Ministry must be strict in carrying out continuous monitoring of manufacturers, wholesalers and sellers of rice in the market.

Meanwhile, Mydin Mohamed Holdings Bhd managing director Dr Ameer Ali Mydin said in a video interview posted on the X platform that before the Indian ban on the export of its rice, Malaysians were buying ‘imported rice’.The price difference between the imported rice and the local white rice was RM6 for 10 KG. If local rice was RM26 for 10 KG, imported ones were roughly RM30 or RM32 for 10 KG. The current panic on the market is due to many factors, he added.One of the main factors is that local white rice was not in demand and not enough stocks were kept in retail outlets. The sudden stop of Indian rice imports caused an increase in imported rice prices of Rm8 or more.

(Rice issue is a global issue, listen ti Mydin’s managing director’s analysis.

(Previously, we bought rice without realising whether it was imported or local because the price difference was not significant, more or less. When the world’s largest exporter stops exporting, disruptions occur.)On the other hand, Kelantan ruler Sultan Muhammad V called on the state government to take more proactive measures to ensure food security in the state.Sultan Muhammad V noted this in his royal address at the investiture in conjunction with his 54th birthday celebration at Istana Balai Besar yesterday (Sept 30) as reported by several news outlets.His Royal Highness added that the government needed to further examine all the applications to change the status of agricultural land to buildings to contain the reduction of such land, as well as disruption of the food supply chain.“I am aware that the economic situation in 2023 is expected to grow slowly due to international geopolitical tensions, which contribute to the increase in commodity prices and worsen global inflation.“I hope that the government views the matter seriously, and I recommend short-term measures to address the suffering of the people in terms of living pressure, (which) must be done as soon as possible.” – Oct 1, 2023


Main photo credit: The Star

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