KUALA LUMPUR, June 6 — The government is taking a cautious approach to the latest global developments, especially the issue of food supply and rising food prices which affected the well-being of Keluarga Malaysia (Malaysian Family), said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
To address the economic crisis due to the pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine conflict, he said the government has formulated short-, medium- and long-term measures to stabilise food supplies and prices.
Ismail Sabri said Malaysia, the Asian region and other regions in the world were not spared from the impact of the crisis, adding that the global supply chain was also affected, resulting in the world food prices rising by more than 30 per cent.
Through the short-term measures, he said the government has announced the abolishment of the approved permit (AP) requirement to import foodstuffs and imposed a ban on the export of chicken.
“(In addition,) channelling financial assistance directly to the people, especially the B40 group, starting July 1, establishing the Agrofood Fund with an allocation of RM500 million through soft loans to industry players and creating buffer stocks for chicken, meat and fish to ensure adequate food supply,” he said.
He said this in his congratulatory speech at the investiture ceremony of federal awards and honours in conjunction with the official birthday of Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah at Istana Negara here today.
Ismail Sabri said the five short-term measures were among the government’s approaches to protecting the entire Malaysian Family from the burden of rising prices of goods, apart from various subsidies which are expected to reach RM71 billion this year.
He said these were followed by several medium- and long-term measures to stabilise the supply and prices of food.
In the meantime, the prime minister said Malaysia would continue to voice its stand in safeguarding the interest and sovereignty of the country as well as bring the voice for global peace into the international arena.
Elaborating, he said his recent visits abroad clearly proved the good cooperation and strong diplomatic relations between Malaysia and foreign countries.
Apart from that, the government would continue to work in the spirit of inclusivity, togetherness and contentment as a Malaysian family across political beliefs and ideologies for the welfare of the people.
He said all challenges will be faced together collectively by finding a common ground and putting aside any differences.
Meanwhile, to ensure that every Malaysian family is not left behind in the country’s development, the Prime Minister said the government was constantly improving programmes under the social protection agenda throughout the country.
In this regard, he said the government implemented the first phase of the Keluarga Malaysia Hardcore Poverty Eradication Programme last month involving 80 urban and rural localities including Orang Asli settlements to bring them out of poverty.
“We will continue to protect the lives of the poor and the low-income group so that they can enjoy a comfortable life,” he said.
On the country’s transition to endemic phase, Ismail Sabri said various standard operating procedures were relaxed from May 1 to allow the people to enjoy a normal life and boost their morale.
At the same time, the Health Ministry would continue to monitor the current situation of COVID-19 infection and work with the World Health Organisation (WHO) to ensure the public health stability is at a satisfactory level and functioning well, he said.
On behalf of the government, public service and the people, the prime minister congratulated Al-Sultan Abdullah in conjunction with His Majesty’s official birthday celebration.
“May His Majesty the King, Raja Permaisuri Agong and the whole royal family always be blessed by Allah with health, long life and bestowed with the highest glory.
“His Majesty is the umbrella to the people. May Their Majesties continue ascending the throne with sovereignty, honour and greatness and always be under the protection of Allah,” he said.