KOTA BHARU, July 11 — Stern action, including a revamp of the supply system will be undertaken, if the leakage and smuggling of subsidised cooking oil to neighbouring countries continues, said Communications and Multimedia Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa.  

The Jihad Against Inflation Special Task Force chairman, said the move was among the measures proposed after the task force’s investigation found sufficient evidence on subsidised cooking oil being smuggled abroad.

He said as a result of the leakage, some towns in the neighbouring country, located near the border, have been getting constant supply of subsidised cooking oil which are sold at between RM7 and RM8 per kilogramme.

“Investigations revealed that our subsidised cooking oil are being sold by the cartons in boxes, and when they come in boxes which are unopened, these are directly from the packaging factories.

“Certain parties are found to be involved. I do not want to divulge our plans here, but I just want to say that we are working hard and those involved are not going to escape,” he told a press conference at a Korban Perdana programme for Ketereh parliamentary constituency here today.

Elaborating, the Ketereh MP said initial action had been taken to address  the problem of leakage in the supply of subsidised cooking oil.

“If I were to mention in detail, it will only jeopardise what the task force had set to do, suffice to say, we already have enough information. Action has already been taken and there will be more to come.

“My advice, please stop what you are doing, because if the current system cannot be improved, I will consider overhauling the entire oil subsidy supply system,” he said.

Annuar said the task force was aware that if the system is overhauled, this could affect businesses that are not involved in the smuggling, but priority must be given to the people’s needs.

“It may affect some businesses and traders, but it has to be done because people out there are not getting the subsidised cooking oil from the RM4 billion the government has spent on.

Currently, he said the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP) has identified an action plan to overcome the shortage of cooking oil, adding that in two months time, the supply shortage problem (retail level) would be solved.

Annuar said he would be meeting 22 cooking oil producers next week.

“I want to convey the message personally, that they must work together to control leakage and follow the rules.

“If this were to fail and as long as there is continued misuse of subsidised cooking oil, I will not hesitate to revamp the whole system and the Jihad Against Inflation Special Task Force will take stern action,” he said.


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