MyCC investigating into several big companies allegedly controlling prices and chicken production – PM Ismail

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PUTRAJAYA MAY 23: The government is disappointed with the actions taken by several big companies that have stopped the supply of chickens and caused an increase in prices and insufficient supply in the market.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said, as a short term measure, the Cabinet Ministers’ Meeting today has decided on several actions to be taken including stopping the export of 3.6 million chickens a month starting 1st June 2022 until the price and supply of chickens are stable.

Ismail said, the government will also form a buffer stock and optimum the storage facility of refrigerators owned by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry (MAFI) and agency.

The Prime Minister added, abolishment of the Approved Permit (AP) for chickens including the whole and cut chickens aimed at increasing the chances of importers to provide more sources of supply.

“The government action also includes simplifying subsidy claim procedures by the chicken supplier and to increase and recognise the slaughterhouses overseas in order to increase the supply of chicken production,” he said in a statement here today.

Ismail added, the Malaysia Competition Commission (MyCC) is investigating on reports alleging that there is a cartel that controls the price and the production of chickens among the big companies.

“Investigation is expected to be completed by end of June 2022 and if there is a cartel agreement, the government will take legal action on those responsible. At the same time the government will reduce the roles of the middlemen that have manipulated the supply and the price.

“The government will reintroduce the “jihad” to fight against the middlemen that I have introduced in 2014. The National Farmers’ Association (NAFAS) has been given the role to lead the “Jihad to Combat Middlemen,” Ismail reiterated.

Meanwhile, the Attorney General who has been invited to attend the Cabinet Meeting today has advised the Cabinet to use the Enforcement of Supply Control Act 1961 (Act 122) if there is any hoarding activity, keeping or elements of sabotage on the supply of chickens.

“Actions could be taken under such acts and their licenses could be cancelled with immediate effect.

“The government has requested MAFI and Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPNDHEP) to monitor, check and take stern action on any party that breaches the Supply Control Act 1961 (Act 122) and the Supply Control Procedures 1974 that provides penalty for individual to a fine not more than RM1million or imprisonment not more than three years or both. Secondly, corporation/company could be fined not more than RM2 million,” Ismail said.

Following the announcement of the AP abolishment on food substances, the Prime Minister said, the Cabinet today has also agreed the AP for wheat to be cancelled.

Ismail said, all ministries are requested to list the AP for other commodities that could be abolished to safeguard the Malaysian Family consumers’ interests. _ Malaysia World News

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