Zuraida: Subsidy stays, cooking oil pricing just reverting to pre-pandemic system

KOTA KINABALU: The government is not ending the subsidy for palm cooking oil after July 1 but reverting to the original pricing mechanism before the Covid-19 pandemic.

Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin (pic) said there has been some misunderstanding that the subsidy for cooking oil was being removed.

“The original subsidised cooking oil supplied to end users, which amounted to 60,000 metric tonnes a month or 720,000 metric tonnes a year, will remain.

“The oil will be sold in 1kg polybags.

“What is being withdrawn is actually the additional 25,000 metric tonnes of subsidised cooking oil supplied to the people during the movement control order (MCO) period.

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“This was a temporary measure taken then in light of people losing their jobs, among others, so that’s why we raised the supply of subsidised cooking to 85,000 metric tonnes a month.

“So, this (the 25,000 metric tonnes of cooking oil) is what is being stopped. There is no need for panic buying – we are still exporting our palm cooking oil and we have enough for the whole population,” she told reporters here on Wednesday (June 22) night when asked about confusion over the subsidy.

Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi had said on Tuesday (June 21) the ceiling price of bottled cooking oil will be removed on July 1.

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Nanta said the subsidy scheme, implemented on Aug 1 last year, was meant to be a temporary three-month move but was extended until this month.

“The maximum retail price for pure palm cooking oil in bottled packaging will not be continued from July 1.

“However, for cooking oil sold in 1kg polybag packets, which is capped at a ceiling price of RM2.50, the subsidy will remain,” he said after an engagement session with industry players and consumer groups at his ministry.

The maximum retail prices imposed on palm cooking oil were RM29.70 for a 5kg bottle, RM6.70 for 1kg, RM12.70 for 2kg and RM18.70 for 3kg.