GEORGE TOWN, Jun 14 – Prices of several raw foods such as vegetables, chillies and chicken at markets in the state have increased drastically since the last fortnight. A Bernama survey at the Batu Lancang day market here today, found the price of chicken was RM8.70 a kilogramme while red and green chillies were sold at RM20 a kilogramme.
Among vegetables whose prices increased drastically was parsley which was sold at between RM16 and RM18 a kilogramme compared to the previous price of between RM6 and RM7 a kilogramme. The traders here also did not put up price tags for the vegetables they sold.
According to housewife Saodiah Wahidin, 57, who was interviewed while she was shopping for household goods at the market, the price of red, green and small chillies went up last month. She said several months ago, red and green chillies were sold at between RM11 and RM12 a kilogramme while small chillies were only between RM10 and RM11 a kilogramme.
According to vegetable seller Lim Kok Leong, 62, the price of vegetables fluctuated due to lack of supply as they were imported items. He said that the supply of vegetables from Cameron Highlands has dropped due to the prolonged drought from January until May, causing the price to go up.
Meanwhile, State domestic trade, cooperatives and consumerism ministry’s enforcement director, Mohd Nawardi Saad said among the reasons given by the suppliers for the increase in the price of chicken was the increased price of maize and inadequate supply.
The lack of workers was another factor for the price increase, he said. Nawardi said the ministry was monitoring the situation and with the Aidilfitri Festive Season Price Control Scheme nationwide from this Thursday, chicken must be sold at RM7.90 a kilogramme.
He said traders who did not observe the fixed prices could be fined up to RM100,000 or imprisoned three years. Last Saturday, Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin announced that 21 goods were listed under the scheme which was effective from June 16 to July 6. — Bernama