KOTA KINABALU: Padiberas Nasional Bhd (Bernas) says it is controlling the sale of rice to certain wholesalers in Sabah to prevent hoarding following an unusual purchasing pattern in the first quarter of the year.
In a statement today, it said such measures were needed to ensure adequate rice supply, especially during the movement control order (MCO) period.
It said a 10% increase in sales was recorded from January to March compared to the same period last year.
This month alone, it said, records showed that sales in Sabah had jumped by 40% as about 61% of wholesalers in the state had purchased more rice than normal.
“Of these, 37 wholesalers purchased more than 100% of their normal rice acquisition,” it added.
“There was also a 27% increase in wholesalers who had no previous record of buying rice from Bernas.
“These unusual circumstances have pushed Bernas into taking precautionary measures to prevent rice hoarding by certain quarters.”
Rice wholesalers in Sabah previously claimed that Bernas had been rationing the supply of rice to them since earlier this month.
Malaysian Youth Council vice-president Azuwan Marjan @ Norjan said the wholesalers had told him that Bernas had been doing so since April 13.
“This has caused a shortage of rice in the local market for consumers, especially during the MCO period and Ramadan,” he said.
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