PETALING JAYA: A deputy minister has allayed fears that prices of essential goods will increase next month, saying the claims are being made by profit-driven industry players and not the government.
“If we look at who made the statement that the price of essential goods will increase by 20% next month, (we will find that it) came from the industry,” Bernama quoted deputy domestic trade and cost of living minister Fuziah Salleh as saying.
“We have to realise that the industry is profit-oriented, so that’s why I advise the people not to panic,” she said.
Fuziah said Putrajaya would do “what needs to be done” to ensure prices of goods would not increase excessively.
One such initiative, she said, was the Rahmah Sales programme aimed at helping consumers buy goods that were below market price.
Earlier this month, Utusan Malaysia reported the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry as saying that its members were expecting food prices to increase due to the country’s reliance on imports and the weaker ringgit.
Its president, Nivas Ragavan, said its members have been experiencing a 20% increase in production and operation costs since January.
Mydin hypermarket managing director Ameer Ali Mydin also predicted that prices for consumer goods could go up between 5% and 10% beginning next month.
Government spokesman Fahmi Fadzil has since dismissed such reports, citing the moderation of the inflation rate and better economic performance.
“How did they predict that, who did they consult? Are they Nujum Pak Belalang (clairvoyant)?” he said.