PH to eradicate monopoly of rice supplier – Salahuddin

KUALA LUMPUR: The Ministry of Agriculture and Agro Based Industry (MOA) is open to suggestion and proposal from Bernas for a new business model that is against monopolistic policy as its concession ends in 2021.

MOA’s Minister, Salahuddin Ayub (pic) said, Bernas is still in operation and it is not the intention of Pakatan Harapan’s government to abolish it.

“We will not take any action that is not fair for all the parties involved with Bernas,” Salahuddin said in a press conference at Menara Lembaga Pertubuhan Peladang (LPP) here on Thursday.

Bernas is owned by Syed Mokhtar al-Bukhary that is involved in the procurement and processing padi, import, warehousing, distribution and marketing of rice in Malaysia.

Earlier he said, the monopolistic policy of Bernas has to be reviewed in accordance to PH Manifesto in the 14th General Election.

Salahuddin added, MOA has decided to form three committees to study and come out with new proposals that will replace the monopolistic policies of Bernas.

He added, the committees include one headed by the Acting Secretary General of MOA and his experts; National Agriculture Advisory Council (NAAC) and Selangor Agriculture Department.

“The three committees’ suggestions will be concluded by mid-July before it is forwarded to the special committee that will be represented by four ministries including health, transport, international trade and industry and agriculture and agro-based industry.

“The special committee will be chaired by the Minister of Economic Affairs, Datuk Seri Azmin Ali,” he said.

Salahuddin also mentioned that the “new model” for supplying rice to the people will be forwarded to the Cabinet Ministers by August.

“The new proposal will not only cater for food security but also to ensure the quality of rice besides looking after the interests of the farmers and the people,” he reiterated.

On the question of high prices of fish in the country, Salahuddin said, MOA controls the supply and to avoid “flooding of fish” in the local market through the Approved Permit (AP). 

“We have enough supply of good quality fish in the country and everybody can buy it. However the prices of fish are controlled by the Ministry of Domestic Trade, Co-Operatives and Consumerism (KPDNKK),” Salahuddin said. – Malaysia World News