DAP calls on the Government to take special measure to ensure that ‘Low Price’ rice are available to the poor

Speech by DAP Secretary-General and Member of Parliament for Bandar Melaka, Mr. Lim Kit Siang, at a DAP Public Rally at Cheng on Tuesday on 2/7/74 at 9 p.m.

DAP calls on the Government to take special measure to ensure that ‘Low Price’ rice are available to the poor

Although the Government has introduces and implemented price control for rice, dividing rice into three broad categories, of Beras Malaysia Pendek, berak Malaysia Sederhana and Beras Malaysia Panjang Super, and many other other smaller divisions, the fact is that Malaysians cannot get ‘low price’ rice anymore although we produce 90% of our own rice needs.

The cheaper category of Government controlled rice, like 45% Malaysia Pendek which is to be retailed at 44 cents a kati is simply not available in the market. Beras Hanchur 100% Special at 37 cents a kati and Beras Hanchur 100% Biasa at 32 cents a kati has never been available to the consumers and housewives since the introduction of rice price control scheme.

Similarly the cheaper type of Beras Malaysia Serdahana 45% to be retailed at 48 cents a kati or Berak Malaysia Panjang Super 45% to be retailed at 53 cents a kati and Malaysia Panjang Super 25% to be retailed at 56 cents a kati are only available on paper but not in the shops.

Thus although there are ‘lower price’ grade of rice at the 30 cents and 40 cents range they are not to be found in the market.

While about 2 years ago, the housewives paid from 28 cents to 32 cents for a kati of Kedah No.1 rice, she has now to pay 54 cents for Malaysia Pendek 10% – about 100% increase in price for equivalent type of rice.

The good old days of Beras Hanchur at 24 cents a kati is now a dream.

As rice is the staple food of Malaysians, and in order to help the poor and the low income groups who are the hardest hit victims in this period of inflation, the Government should introduce a cheaper food and rice policy.

It is not good enough to have rice price control. What is even more important is to bring down the price of rice so that Malaysians can get their rice at 30 cents and 40 cents range instead of the present 50 cents to 60 cents range.

The Government should therefore form a special Cabinet Committee to find ways and means to introduce a cheap food and rice policy so as to lighten the burden of the poor.