Sugar scarcity crisis again!

Sugar scarcity crisis again!

There sugar crisis has hit various parts of Malaysia again, such as Malacca, Johore, Pahang, Kedah.

I had warned during the January session of Parliament that there will be a recurrence of the sugar scarcity and price increase crisis unless the Ministry of Trade and Industry take energetic action to curb and prevent sugar hoarding, in particular by the sugar manufacturers.

Unfortunately, the Ministry of Trade and Commerce had failed to do this. On the contrary, it has taken a decision which can only aggravate the sugar crisis.

The Minister of Trade and Industry, Inche Khir Johari, announced in Parliament last month that the government would review the price of sugar every three months – in other words, a promise to the sugar manufacturers that the Ministry would consider their application for sugar price increase in three months’ time, sometime in April.

With the prospect of early increase in the price of sugar, it is no wonder that the sugar manufacturers are trying their best to hoard their stocks of sugar, by delaying their loadings of sugars supplies for wholesalers, by shutting part of their factories for repairs or overhaul, etc.

The only real solution to put an end to the sugar shortage crisis is for the government to announce clearly and unequivocally that it would not permit any increase in the price of sugar for the next twelve months. This would make it unprofitable for anyone to hoard sugar, and would put an end to the artificial shortage or sugar supply in Malaysia.

If the DAP is in power, it would do precisely this, and announce a 12-month freeze on any increase in the price of sugar, for the interest and welfare of the masses. I do not know why the Alliance government is so concerned and solicitous after the profits of the sugar manufacturers.