PETALING JAYA: The government is not sitting idle over the rice crisis and will do everything in its power to ease the burden of the people, Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim said today.
Government action included four intervention measures announced today to deal with the increase in the price of imported white rice and a rise in demand for local white rice.
Anwar said he had held a meeting with agriculture and food security minister Mohamad Sabu to find solutions to the rice problem. “It is hoped that these measures can help ease the burden the people are facing,” he wrote in an online posting.
The prime minister said Malaysia was not the only country facing the problem of higher rice prices following rice export bans imposed by 19 rice-producing countries, Bernama reported.
The four new measures to tackle the price and supply problem were announced earlier today by Mohamad. Among the measures are:
Increased distribution of local white rice by the Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority (Fama) to rural areas and sundry shops, with the government bearing the transport costs.
A subsidy of RM950 per tonne for imported white rice in Sabah and Sarawak from Oct 5, enabling the rice to be sold at a retail price of RM31 per 10kg pack.
Mohamad said the government was taking this action due to the limited production of local white rice in the two states.