Sugar down by 10 sen per kilogramme

Siti A'isyah Sukaimi

PUTRAJAYA: Ceiling price for sugar will go down by 10 sen per kilogramme effective Sept 1.

Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry Datuk Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said the new price for coarse grain sugar will be RM2.85 per kilogramme and fine granulated sugar will be RM2.95 per kilogramme.

According to him, the move reflected the downward trend of global raw sugar prices.

"As we all know, sugar is a controlled item under the Control of Supplies Act 1961 and Price Control and Anti-profiteering Act 2011 to ensure supplies are enough and sold at controlled prices.

"The last price adjustment made was on March 1 last year," he said at a press conference after the ministry's monthly assembly, here, today.

With the announcement, Saifuddin urged traders to be responsible and not raise the prices of controlled items without getting written permission from the relevant authorities including supply control officers.

Saifuddin also expressed his hope that the lower sugar price could reduce the chain reaction impact on the prices of food and beverages in the market.

He also said half of the number of complaints from consumers involved the prices of food and beverages.

"Nonetheless, the decision to lower sugar prices should not be perceived as the government is supporting high sugar consumption."

Instead, he said the decision was made because the government was sensitive to the high cost of living issues faced by the people.

Until August this year, the sugar prices in Malaysia were among the lowest in the Asian region with Thailand as the second largest sugar producer offering the lowest price in Asia.

Meanwhile, on the restructuring of the ministry's portfolio, Saifuddin said Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had given a written reply three days ago.

"Four agencies under my ministry before are now under the Entrepreneur Development Ministry. The four are the Cooperative Commission of Malaysia, Malaysia Cooperative College, Perbadanan Nasional Bhd (PNS) and Bank Rakyat.

"Three other agencies - Companies Commission of Malaysia, Intellectual Property Corporation (MyIPO) and Malaysian Competition Commission - will remain under this ministry," he said. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd