Wednesday, May 14, 2008


Price of rice stabilising, says Shahrir


Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Shahrir Samad said yesterday the price of rice was stabilising following steps taken by the Government. He said the initial confusion pertaining to the supply and the price of the staple food had also died down. “There is less confusion now. It’s how the government explain the steps to tackle the problem. There should be no more worries because the supply is enough,” he told reporters at the Parliament lobby yesterday. He was asked to comment on the five steps announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on Monday to ensure there was no shortage of rice and to keep the price down. Among the immediate measures implemented by the Government was to secure the supply of the price- controlled 15 per cent broken rice and to fix the price between RM1 .65 per kg and RM1 .80 per kg according to zones. The Government had also imposed ceiling prices on Super Special Tempatan (SST) 5 per cent at RM2. 80 per kg, and SST l0percentatRM2.70 per kg, effective June 1. Shahrir said the Ministry had deployed 2,000 enforcement officers and 2,000 members of the price monitoring team to monitor the price and supply of rice nationwide. Meanwhile, Thailand Ambassador to Malaysia Piyawat Niyomrerks said Thailand was committed to deliver the rice to Malaysia as soon as possible. “May be we can deliver them as early as next month,” he said when asked to comment when Thailand could deliver the rice ordered by Padiberas Nasional Berhad. Earlier, Piyawat called on Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Abdul Rahim Bakri and spent time to follow the Dewan Rakyat session. - Bernama