PUTRAJAYA, Sept 13 — The government is taking a new approach in tackling the chicken price hike in the country by issuing a directive to wholesalers and retailers to hold engagement sessions with chicken breeders in locations where the price hike was reported.
Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi said the approach will enable traders to check the price and cost to get a more reasonable profit margin.
“The approach is also aimed at reminding chicken traders not to raise the price at any stage of the distribution chain at their whims and fancy,” he said in a statement today.
Nanta said stern action such as maximum compound or prosecution in court will be taken if the traders refused to cooperate in ensuring the success of the new approach.
He said the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry (KPDNHEP) was not planning to introduce additional price control measures apart from the usual Festive Season Maximum Price Control Scheme (SHMMP).
However, Nanta said his ministry will not hesitate to implement the additional price control measure should the price continue to rise unreasonably or if there were a cartel manipulating the price at all stages of the distribution chain.
“The KPDNHEP always monitors the prices of goods through more than 1,000 Price Monitoring Officers who collect information on the prices of goods every day and take immediate actions against premises selling goods at unreasonable prices without having to wait for consumers to lodge complaints,” he said.
The minister said based on the monitoring of the retail price on September 10, the national average price of cleaned standard chicken is RM8.83/kilogramme (kg).
In the peninsula, he said the average retail price of cleaned standard chicken is RM8.78/kg and the selling price range is between RM5.99/kg and RM11.00/kg.
He said premises selling chickens above RM9/kg were mostly wet markets and the highest selling price of RM11.00/kg was detected at Raub General Market in Pahang.
Nanta said supermarkets and hypermarkets were still offering cleaned standard chicken at a reasonable price.
“The lowest price of RM5.99/kg is offered at Tesco/Lotus Hypermarkets nationwide, while Giant, Mydin and Econsave hypermarkets are offering the chicken at between RM7.39 and RM7.99/kg.
“Consumers are advised wisely choose the right place and time to buy chickens at reasonable prices,” he said.
In Sabah, the average price of cleaned standard chicken is RM11.33/kg with the highest price of RM11.80/kg detected at Gentingmas Mall in Sandakan, while the lowest price was offered at RM10.90/kg at Sibuga Wet Market in Batu 8, Sandakan.
In Sarawak, the average price of cleaned standard chicken is RM8.56/kg, the highest price of RM9.80/kg detected at Central Market, Sarikei, while the lowest price of RM7.50/kg was offered at Everwin Supermarket in Mukah.
Nanta said the ministry would also convene regular meetings with the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industries (MAFI) to ensure factors such as the prices of imported chicken feed, chicken breeds and chicks which will influence the price of chickens could be minimized and managed.
The chicken industry and supply is regulated by MAFI while KPDNHEP is responsible for matters related to the price of chickens in the market. — Bernama