BUTTERWORTH, Jan 8 ― The Department of Internal Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP) in Penang has identified the cause of the shortage of subsidized sachet cooking oil in the state following the discovery of an item misused by parties irresponsible.
Its director, Mohd Ridzuan Ab Ghapar, said this follows the ministry’s close monitoring of godowns and packing plants and wholesalers to ensure the subsidized item is not abused.
“Yes, there have been complaints about the shortage of subsidized cooking oil in sachets. Some of the complaints have been received from social media and officially I am taking the issue seriously and we will be taking tough action against any neighborhoods that abuse the article.
“In this regard, I have also directed my officers to focus on the matter (on the lack of oil supply) and intensify monitoring and enforcement to root out such activities as consumers are not unable to afford the one-kilogram package of subsidized cooking oil,” he told reporters. today.
He was met after visiting the Malaysian Family Sales Scheme (PJKM) at the compound of At-Taqwa Mosque in Mak Mandin here today.
Going further, Mohd Ridzuan said that there are currently 25 sachet cooking oil packaging companies and 500 wholesalers in Penang.
As a result of information and intelligence gathered, we recently (24th December) raided unlicensed premises in Bagan Ajam, here which carried out transfer activities of 20 tons of subsidized cooking oil and further investigations are still underway to trace the parties involved.
“Based on the investigation, it was found that the modus operandi used by the syndicate was to hire a third party to manage the oil transfer and that they were supposed to carry out the activities for more than three months because we had been conducting intelligence for a month before raiding the premises,” he said.
Earlier, he said a total of 13 PJKMs had been held in Penang since December last year and would continue until March as the response was very encouraging.
“The PJKM will be held twice a month in turn in each parliamentary constituency, with a focus on the localities of the residents of B40 and M40 because the response is very encouraging from the inhabitants and many do not want to miss opportunity to get various necessities sold cheaper by 5-20% here,” he said.
Meanwhile, a visitor, Pynun Pydi (she), 73, said she was happy with the price of goods offered at PJKM as most of them were cheaper than the current market price and she could save by buying from the sales program.
“Eggs, chicken and rice are some of the cheap necessities at PJKM and if they can be held in the same place every month, that’s better,” the senior said.
Rosli Bidin, 65, also agreed with Pynun and hoped the program would continue for longer as it was very beneficial to the people. ― Bernama