PETALING JAYA: An Umno leader who last week sparked controversy by confronting rice millers in Melaka has now claimed that cartels were selling local rice at an inflated price instead of the controlled price.
Dr Akmal Saleh said the cartels sold locally-produced rice at RM3.40 per kg instead of RM2.60 by tinkering with invoices.
The government-controlled price of RM2.60 applies to the local super special (5% broken) variety. Other types of rice are not subject to price control.
Akmal said the government had provided various subsidies to ensure that locally produced rice is sold at reasonable prices, “but these people have betrayed us and now the people are suffering,” he said in a Facebook post.
Akmal posted a picture of a sack of what is believed to be locally produced rice with an invoice that states that the sack contains broken rice.
He said it was fortunate that the factory where the picture was taken was based outside Melaka “otherwise we would have sealed it”.
He promised more exposes in future and called for stricter enforcement.
Akmal is a Melaka state executive councillor, responsible for rural development, agriculture and food security matters. Last month he threatened to revoke a rice miller’s licence for allegedly refusing to sell local rice at government-controlled prices.
A widely-shared video showed him inspecting rice stocks and documents at a rice miller’s warehouse, and admonishing the miller for allegedly refusing to sell local rice because of the small profit margin.
He also threatened to revoke the miller’s licence, seize his goods and seal off his factory.