KUALA LUMPUR: Authorities in several states have begun taking stern action following the drastic rise of chicken prices at markets since the start of Ramadan.
Several non-governmental organisations have also urged the authorities to intervene over the issue due to the impact on the public.
Price control notices were issued to 20 chicken traders and wholesalers at public markets in Johor Bahru after inspections were conducted following complaints about price increases.
In Melaka, traders and chicken suppliers have been given three to five days to produce documents.
If there are elements of profiteering, they will be issued compounds under Section 21 of the Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act 2011.
“For consumers, do not worry as monitoring will be done every day and if there are complaints, please inform us immediately,” said Norena Jaafar, Melaka director of the domestic trade and consumer affairs ministry.
Checks at the Melaka central market revealed that chicken is being sold at around RM9.50 per kg, with consumers complaining about the prices.
A trader, Hamzah Othman, 57, said never in his 30 years experience of selling chickens has he had to sell at such a high price, but he had no choice as the suppliers themselves had set such a high price.
“Some suppliers said the price hike was due to breeders having to sustain increases in imported feed prices of up to 40%. This has happened not only here but everywhere,” he said.
The Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) has urged authorities to intervene to resolve the drastic increase in chicken prices that coincided with the beginning of Ramadan.
CAP education officer NV Subbarow said the price hike had burdened everyone and that stern action must be taken against chicken suppliers.
“Previously, chicken was sold at RM7.50 a kg but now it’s sold between RM9 to RM10 per kg with the excuse that feed costs and other expenses have increased,” he said in a statement.