11 sen rise in sugar price has little impact on food prices: Consumerism Minister

MELISSA DARLYNE CHOW


KUALA LUMPUR: The 11 sen rise in the price of coarse-grain white refined sugar is due to an increase in the price of imported raw sugar, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.

Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Hamzah Zainudin said in 2013, the import price was US$0.15 per pound, with the exchange rate at US$1 to RM3.20.

Hamzah (BN-Larut) said the import price has since risen to US$0.21 per pound (US$1 now equals RM4.46).

"This means the import price has risen almost 100 per cent," he said during the ministers’ question time this morning.

Hamzah was replying to a question from Datuk Mohd Fasiah Mohd Fakeh (BN-Sabak Bernam), who wanted to know the reason behind the 11 sen price increase to RM2.95 per kilogramme, as compared to RM2.84 previously.

Hamzah said the 11 sen, or 3.8 per cent price increase, which he said is minimal, has had little impact on the price of food products.

"As a matter of fact, we should be reducing our sugar intake, as recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

"WHO's recommendation is 9kg a year per person. Currently, Malaysians are (consuming) 25kg of sugar annually, which is a huge amount.

"So if we reduce our sugar intake, a 3.8 per cent price increase would not have much of an effect," he added.