19.01.2021 (www.nst.com.my) - GEORGE TOWN: Retailers in Penang have been told to restrict the sale of cooking oil in 1kg packets to ensure that there is ample supply as well as to minimise instances of hoarding.
State Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry (KPDNHEP) director Mohd Ridzuan Abdul Ghapar said they have instructed all retailers to practice self-control and restrict the sale of polybag cooking oil to between two and five packets per customer.
"For now, there is ample supply of the subsidised cooking oil in the state.
"Nevertheless, we have instructed all retailers to limit the sale of the items per customer to ensure we do not run out of supply," he said.
Mohd Ridzuan was speaking to reporters after accompanying state Trade, Industry and Entrepreneurial Development Committee chairman Datuk Abdul Halim Hussain during a spot check at the Tesco hypermarket in Jelutong here this afternoon.
Reports had previously emerged of a shortage of the 1kg cooking oil.
Meanwhile, Ridzuan said they had also received complaints by consumers on the price increase of bottled cooking oil (5kg) in the state.
"Based on the complaints received, we were told some retailers are selling the 5kg cooking oil at up to RM30 per bottle.
"The 5kg cooking oil is not under price control but we have issued notices to wholesalers to obtain information on the price increase. This is because there is no issue with the supply," he said.
Abdul Halim said the price increase of bottled cooking oil was attributed to the increase in the world palm oil prices.
"We hope wholesalers do not take advantage of the situation to hike up their prices," he added.
Several customers, when met, lamented the increase in the price of bottled cooking oil.
A senior citizen, who declined to be named, said she only buys bottled cooking oil when it is on discount, even then very rarely.
"Now, I just use the packet cooking oil," she said.
On another note, Abdul Halim said the state government would re-activate the Pertubuhan Penggerak Pengguna Pulau Pinang movement beginning March to serve as the "eyes and ears" of the authorities and assist in the implementation of consumers' interest issues.