Shortage in supply of subsidised food items begins

A survey done in Yan recently shows that the supply of subsidised items such as cooking oil and wheat flour has been decreasing in the last few weeks.

This reduction apparently occurs every year, as the Ramadan season draws closer. The demand for such items increases in anticipation of Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

Owner of a local mini market, Yusof Ismail, 46, said that subsidised items such as cooking oil, rice (Beras Nasional) and wheat flour are the first to run short on supply, the last being worst affected.

“A couple of weeks ago, I received only 100kg of flour, which is one-third of the normal supply. Last week there was completely no supply of flour,” he said.

He also said that cooking oil supply is always affected in the third week of the month but eventually improves as a new month begins.

Chuah, 40, another shop owner said that his subsidised cooking oil supply is affected at the end of every month. The 1kg packetgoing for RM2.50 each is always in high demand. This week he received 100kg less than usual, and expects this to reduce further in the following weeks.

Sundry shop owner, Suhaimi Mohd Mahadi, 43, said he had completely run out of stock and was unable to sell packets of cooking oil.

“Customers have been complaining, there is nothing I can do about it as my cooking oil supply has been reduced from 200kg to approximately 70kg a week.”

The shortage is not only affecting the traders but consumers as well. Food stall owner Md Zain Salleh, 52, said that his business is dependent on the availability of cooking oil. He uses an average of 2kg of oil daily to prepare food at his stall. “A shortage will definitely be bad for my business,” he lamented.