Call not to politicise cooking oil issue

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KUCHING: The Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP) has insisted on not politicising the issue of cooking oil supply following the government’s move to abolish bottled cooking oil.

Its Minister Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi said, although the subsidy for bottled cooking oil was abolished, the one-kilogram packet of cooking oil would still continue.

The pure cooking oil subsidy programme for these bottles was only temporarily implemented during the previous Movement Control Order (MCO).

“Now the government feels it is time for its abolishment. This so that focus can be made on helping those who are really in need.

“I implore all consumers not to be confused by those who have other agendas,” he said when met by the media after visiting the Teguh Binaniaga Sdn Bhd cooking oil packaging factory in Jalan Penrissen today.

Also present were Kota Sentosa assemblyman Wilfred Yap Yau Sin and Sarawak KPDNHEP director Datuk Stanley Tan.

Elaborating further, he said, the abolition of the two, three and five kilograme bottle packaging subsidy decided by the government is seen as a measure to ensure more direct and targeted assistance can be given to those who are eligible to receive it.

“The government can provide more targeted assistance; however, all forms of assistance will be detailed by the Ministry of Finance,” he added.

Meanwhile, he said that if traders were implicated in concealment and abuse of the nation’s subsidised controlled commodities, KPDNHEP would not think twice to withdraw or cancel their business permits.

“This serves as a warning to the players in the cooking oil industry, and if they are found guilty, I won’t think twice about cancelling their permits as the subsequent step,” he said.

Nanta, who is Kapit MP, stated that the government is still considering the suggested approach to the cooking oil subsidy mechanism.

“KPDNHEP talks about methods with other ministries to enable us in deciding which method to employ in going forward.

“One of them is the use of an application that can identify customers who have already purchased cooking oil is a new approach that enables for strict management of these subsidised commodities,” he pointed out.

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