Sugar shortage emerging
By IZATUN SHARI
PETALING JAYA: There has been shortage of sugar supply at small sundry and grocery shops in the outskirts of Selangor the past two weeks.
Consumers in Sekinchan, Tanjong Karang and Kuala Selangor were saying that retailers are claiming that they could not get the commodity.
Rahim Md Sherif, 19, of Tanjong Karang went from one shop to another looking for sugar but to no avail.
He had to call his sibling, who lived in Klang and Kuala Lumpur, to buy small packs of sugar.
Another complainant, who declined to be named, said it was difficult to cook and even make drinks for her schoolgoing children as she had been out of sugar for the past few days.
She said she really hoped that the situation would improve during fasting month and Hari Raya Aidilfitri.
A check by The Star at several sundry and grocery shops in Kuala Selangor, Tanjong Karang and its vicinity areas and even some areas in Damansara showed the lack of the commodity.
When asked to comment about the situation, Cooperative and Consumerism Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri said there was a possibility of sugar smuggling because price of sugar in the country was much lower than that of other countries.
“We don’t know how far it’s true, but we are investigating. We fear that there is a possibility sugar smuggling is happening, but the issue raising or reducing the sugar quota does not arise,” he told reporters after opening D’ Tandoori restaurant at Damansara Utama here
“Those who want to hoard sugar with the hope that we will raise the price of sugar, forget it. No way! The issue of sugar price hike will not arise until the end of the year. The price will remain.”
He warned that relevant authorities would come down hard on sugar smugglers and hoarders to ensure sufficient supply of the commodity during fasting month.
Asked whether the ministry would step up enforcement to check hoarding and smuggling incidents, Ismail said he would hold a meeting with the sugar industry players, police, customs and anti-smuggling unit today (Monday) to thrash out possible measures to ensure sufficient sugar supply.
“If they are caught smuggling, police and customs will get tough with them. Tomorrow we will discuss with relevant agencies and get views directly from sugar industry players to resolve the problem.”
“If there are hoarding and smuggling, the Government will not compromise because we will act against acts that difficulties to the public.”
On the trend of shortage of sugar during festive seasons, he said hoarders should not assume that by reducing sugar supply, its price would increase because sugar was a controlled item.
“We will also act on those who increase prices of controlled items,” he said adding that he would like to reiterate his assurance on Friday that the current price would remain until year end in view of rising world sugar price lately.
Asked whether industry players should increase sugar production, he said if production were increased, but smuggling continued, it would not resolve the problem.
“If sugar is smuggled out of the country and we increase production, the Government will end up giving more subsidy, which will only profit others. We suffer from losses. There’s no point to it.”
Dengar lah nasihat ku.
1. Jangan membabi-buta pergi kedai beli gula sebab takut kehabisan, buat stok banyak-banyak kat rumah. What the hell for?? Buat kenduri untuk semut?? When people go on panic buying, then simpan bertimpuk di rumah sampai jadi tukun, itulah yang akan membuat kekurangan gula di pasaran menjadi bertambah buruk. I think the average household consumption of sugar is about 1kg sebulan sahaja. Ingatlah, walau semanis mana pun senyuman anda, kopi tetap lebih manis dengan gula juga.
2. Woi, woi...jangan lah smuggle gula. Tau lah harga gula di Malaysia negara ku tercinta adalah yang kedua terendah di dunia (last I checked, might be wrong now) tapi apa barang seludup gula? Tak coolness langsung.
3. Kilang gula tak sorok gula lah, gila. (kes bosan menjawab tuduhan-tuduhan liar)
So far, handphone saya belum berdering dengan panggilan-panggilan request untuk minta tolong belikan gula. So I believe, the sugar shortage problem is still under control. Bila phone dah mula berdering-dering, saudara mara jauh dan dekat tiba-tiba bertanya kabar, dan staff diberi kuota berapa kilo gula boleh dibeli setiap minggu, that's when I know the problem is pretty serious. Hahah...trust me, saya bukan tokan gula, hokeh!
Saya cuma semanis gula. Eceh.