Consumer price index tsunami?

The earthquake and tsunami, which devastated parts of Japan on Friday, is no reason for traders in Malaysia to increase the price of essential goods.

Domestic Trade Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister, Ismail Sabri Yaakob said this was because most of the essential goods were not imported from the Land of the Rising Sun.

“There are countries which do not supply Malaysia the essential goods and therefore, there is no reason to increase the prices,” he told reporters after closing a motivation course for orphans in the Bera parliamentary constituency here today.

He said it was different from the recent price increase for onion, garlic and potatoes because the producing countries like China and several European countries were affected by floods and natural disasters.

Ismail Sabri said the ministry was always monitoring product prices in the market to lessen the people’s burden.

On oil prices, the minister said there was no indication it would go down.

“Following global price increase of oil, the government has come up with an extra subsidy of more than RM4 billion to lessen the people’s burden,” he said.

He said that last year; the government had allocated RM10.3 billion as oil subsidy and for consumer products.  Despite being burdened with the subsidy, the government had no intention of stopping it but to find other means of reducing the burden, he added.