Federal Government should utilise Cukai Makmur to set up Food Stabilisation Fund: MP Hon Wai

Press Statement by Wong Hon Wai, MP Bukit Bendera at Penang on 2-6-2022:

I refer to the statement by the Prime Minister, YAB Ismail Sabri Yaakob, that the Government is going to stop giving subsidies to chicken farmers from July 2022. He said instead of that, the Government will channel directly the subsidies to the people.

His latest announcement is an admission that the Government has failed to regulate the prices of chicken and this is clear evidence of failure of public policy. The Government has earlier announced that a subsidy of RM729 million to chicken breeders through the Maximum Price Control Scheme implemented on Feb 5, 2022 to June 5, 2022 for 121 days. This is the longest price control period for chicken in the history of Malaysia.

I have to remind the Government that there are 2.78 million Malaysian B40 families having households monthly income less than RM4851. There are another 2.78 million Malaysian M40 families having household monthly income between RM4851 to RM10970. The B40 and M40 families have been hard hit by the rising costs of food and living. The inflation rate as reported in Consumer Price Index does not fully reflect what is happening on the ground as there are government price control items in the CPI index. The price increase for food items have surpassed what have been reported in the CPI index.

The Government should channel the RM729 million originally allocated to chicken farmers to help 5.56 million B40 families and M40 families combined. Each family will receive roughly RM130.

The Government needs to utilise the Cukai Makmur collected in the coffer to set up Food Security Stabilisation Fund and to increase the stockpile for strategic food items.

The Government should have comprehensive economic response plan in view of the prolonged Russian-Ukraine war and partial embargo by European Union on oil from Russia. This will have grave impact on the internation oil price and food security issues.

WONG HON WAI

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