LABUAN, June 13 — Most sundry shops in the outskirts of town here are running out of stock of essential goods due to panic buying ahead of the total lockdown in some parts of Labuan beginning next Tuesday.
The island’s People’s Representative Council chairman, Mohd Dzulfaizal Abd Manan said with the temporary closure of many supermarkets and hypermarkets (for COVID-19 sanitisation work), consumers were left with no choice but to make a beeline at all sundry shops in their respective villages and residential areas, resulting in the retailers facing a low-stock situation.
“The ongoing stricter Sabah-Labuan-Sabah travel constraints, including requiring goods transporters to have the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test before entering Labuan, have also contributed to the low stock of essentials here,” he told Bernama today.
The 14-day total lockdown from June 15-28 involves localities in the town centre (except the Financial Park Complex), Kampung Sungai Keling, Simpang Sahari, Kampung Bukit Kalam, the water villages of Kg Patau-Patau 1 and 2, Mutiara housing area in Sg. Bedaun, Kampung Layang-Layangan, Kampung Durian Tunjong and Kampung Tanjung Aru.
Dazulfaizal said among the essential goods in short supply at the sundry shops were rice, cooking oil, eggs and sugar.
“This issue must be addressed effectively as the federal government has given the assurance of sufficient supply of goods.
“The demand for essentials has risen drastically not only due to the closure of many supermarkets and hypermarkets, but the upcoming total lockdown in the eight densely populated localities has also resulted in increase in prices,” he added.
Among the supermarkets and hypermarkets which remained closed (for sanitisation) today are the Milimewa and Emporich supermarkets, Family Mart and Bataras hypermarket.
The Labuan office of the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry in a statement said the cooking oil supply shortage would be addressed in stages beginning next week.
It said the cooking oil wholesalers have just received the supply and to be distributed to the retailers in stages.
Bernama’s random checks also found consumers facing the difficulty of getting cooking gas in the past few days.