KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 23): The Consumers' Association of Penang (CAP) on Tuesday (Nov 23) asked the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs and Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority (FAMA) to take immediate steps to bring down prices of vegetables, including choy sum, the price of which CAP claimed has increased the most by 200% to RM9 a kilogramme from RM3 in the past two weeks.
In a statement, CAP president Mohideen Abdul Kader said prices of other vegetables including broccoli and cauliflower have also more than doubled in the past two weeks.
Mohideen said the price of broccoli has increased 150% to RM20 a kilogramme from RM8 while the price of cauliflower has risen 128.57% to RM16 a kilogramme from RM7.
"Several retailers complained that distributors and wholesalers have warned them that prices of other vegetables may go up in the coming weeks," he claimed.
According to Mohideen, the CAP is asking the enforcement division of the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs to investigate the price increases of vegetables as average income earners will be badly affected by escalating prices of such items.
He alleged that vegetable traders hiked prices of these items excessively and violated Malaysia's Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act.
"CAP has also been repeatedly calling for FAMA to take control of the marketing and distribution of vegetables in the country but our calls have fallen on deaf ears," Mohideen claimed.
At the time of writing, FAMA, which is an agency under the purview of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry, has not issued a statement in response to CAP's statement.
FAMA wrote on its website that the agency plays a role to ensure agricultural and food products are available and obtainable at affordable prices for consumers.
According to FAMA, it has intensified efforts to increase efficiency along the agricultural and food products' marketing chain through several strategies including market channel and marketing regulation development initiatives.