A LOT of the pain could have been averted in the crisis of soaring rice prices if the government, particularly Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Agriculture and Food Security Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Sabu acted quickly to handle the problem, suggested Advokasi Khidmat Guam director Mahmud Jumaat.
“Unfortunately, the government allowed the people to face the problem of the local rice shortage for so long,” said Mahmud in a statement on social media.“In the end, the people had to speak up to explain the real facts and not fake news as some parties are spreading. Honestly, the people are very affected by the current economic situation.” News portal Harakah Daily carried his statement today and in the same edition, there is another article blasting the government for the alleged fight that occurred among the public over the local white rice at some supermarkets. Former premier Tun Dr Mahathir also added to the criticism of Anwar’s government’s perceived economic woes in the country. In a speech at Dataran Purnama in Pelangai for the Ceramah Mega Perikatan Nasional (PN), Dr Mahathir said that the ringgit is now weak and that rice prices have increased. He also accused Anwar of being a liar.
“So, here we are, with Anwar becoming the Prime Minister (PM). But there’s nothing he’s done except that the ringgit is now weak. Now, RM5 equals only US$ 1. This is his biggest achievement.“We used to buy more with RM5. Now, we can’t purchase anything with RM5. This is Anwar’s so-called greatest success. Anwar promised to lower prices for the Rakyat, but it was the PM who raised rice prices.” Moreover, Machang MP Wan Ahmad Fayhsal Wan Ahmad Kamal ridiculed the authorities, saying the matter of the local white rice crisis happened because the Pakatan Harapan-Barisan Nasional government failed to address the issue of a lack of local rice in the market. “It is even more strange that the local rice supply that was found to be stagnating before has disappeared,” he claimed. He further added that the visual of people having to fight with each other for a handful of rice that went viral on social media recently looks sad, “and it can be said that it has never happened since the country gained independence 66 years ago”. “Even more surprising, there are groups of people who fight with each other to get cheaper rice sold by the Federal Agricultural Marketing Board (FAMA).” – Oct 7, 2023
Main photo credit: Wikipedia