LIMBANG, 6 Sept: Agencies and related parties need to ensure that the supply of local white rice is not affected following the sudden price increase involving imported white rice recently.
Deputy Minister of Food Industry, Commodity and Regional Development of Sarawak, Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Ismail said, the increase in the price of imported rice upset traders and consumers including in Sarawak.
However, the Bukit Kota assemblyman said that consumers have the option to buy local white rice in the market.
"As I said, imported white rice such as basmathi rice and so on experienced an increase but the usual local rice did not increase.
"The public still has the option to buy local white rice and the important thing is that we hope that the relevant parties can ensure that the supply of this subsidized rice is not affected," he said when met by the media after conducting a working visit to the Limbang Recreation Field Project today.
Dr. Abdul Rahman explained that the increase in the price of imported rice has indeed affected the people, especially the low-income group.
"We also feel worried with this situation because rice is the staple food in Asia, especially in Malaysia. As we know the price increase involving basic food including rice is very sensitive to our society," he said.
Meanwhile, it is understood that the price of imported white rice in the market in this state is expected to rise by up to 40 percent with immediate effect.
It is due to the recent increase in the price of imported white rice from RM2,350 to RM3,200 per metric ton as announced by Padiberas Nasional Bhd (BERNAS).
The new price effective on September 1 saw an increase of RM850 per metric ton or RM0.85 per kilogram.