PADANG TERAP, Apr 14 – The Barisan Nasional (BN) government has given an assurance that the prices of five essential items will not be increased as long as the coalition helms the country’s administration. Caretaker Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin said the items were rice, flour, cooking gas, cooking oil and sugar.

“(In fact,) caretaker Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak himself has said that the prices of these items could not be increased for the interests of the people. This is because these items are basic necessities used by the people from all walks of life,” he told reporters after the “Jualan Sentuhan Rakyat” (JSR) programme at Felda Lubuk Merbau near here today.

Also present was caretaker Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid, who is also Padang Terap Member of Parliament. Hamzah said the JSR programme, an initiative by the ministry to help Malaysians to deal with the rising cost of living, had benefited four million people nationwide.

“This programme can help the low-income earners to get goods at a cheaper price than the market price and it (the programme) will continue (to be held) if we (BN) remain in power,” he said. Hamzah also brushed off allegations by some quarters that the JSR, which was planned since two years ago, was implemented with the intention of winning the people’s votes for the 14th General Election (GE14).

Among the items sold today were Milo packs priced at RM10 each compared to the retail price of RM16, beef (RM10 per kg instead of RM25) and rice (RM10 for 10 kg instead of RM26). Other items were onions, cooking oil and sugar which were sold at RM1 per kg. — Bernama

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