By John Isaac
THE Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP) must come out with a scheme to control the price of red onions in Malaysia.
The price of red onions has increased drastically to RM17 per kg in Sarawak recently and this is a great burden to the food industry and local traders in particular.
“In the interior parts of Sarawak including the constituency of the KPDNHEP Minister, Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi which is Kapit, the price of red onions has even skyrocketed to RM20 per kg.
“The rural folks find this price unbelievable and unaffordable,” said Pending Assemblywoman, Violet Yong.
She said the current statistics show that Malaysia imports 70% of its red onions from India to cater to local market demands and the average onion consumption here per month is 35,971,671 kg.
“The present government may blame it on the export ban of red onions from India which resulted in the price to skyrocket.
“But, the government cannot be seen to be just sitting on the issue and doing nothing about it.
“What is the use of having KPDNHEP but there isn’t anything the ministry can do about the red onion price hike?,” she asked.
Violet said so far, the Minister concerned was quiet on the issue.
“What action has been taken by his Ministry to tackle the problem is also not disclosed to the public.
“It puzzles me, during Pakatan Harapan’s administration, whenever there was any price hike in food items, all the blame and anger would be vented on the then government but why is it that the present government does not have to be made responsible,” she asked.
She said KPDNHEP cannot escape its responsibilities to implement effective measures to address the price hike of red onions.
“By making sure there is sufficient supply of red onions alone in the country is not enough, it is equally important for the government to control the pricing so it is affordable to consumers.”