Ministry matters

In Sri Johor apartments, consternation at FT Ministry’s [email protected] trade fair

By R. Loheswar

Friday, July 15, 2022 07:00 MYT

KUALA LUMPUR, July 15 — The government [email protected] The cut-price food sale scheme was yesterday met with disappointment by residents of Sri Johor Public Housing, who felt the scheme was not doing enough to address their cost of living crisis.

The apartment fair here was part of a wider scheme rolled out to offer chicken and eggs below their price caps, along with other essentials sold by trucks that visited at regular intervals.

Some residents noted the discounted selection was too small to effectively help them fight inflation while those like 63-year-old Nagarajan S. Veloo stressed it was only temporary.

The former lorry driver living with five other people in one of the apartments said while the discounts would be helpful at the moment, prices have already been rising for several months and are expected to continue rising for the foreseeable future.

Nagarajan S. Veloo speaks to Malay Mail during [email protected] initiative in Cheras on July 14, 2022. — Photo by Ahmad Zamzahuri

“So far, we’ve reduced some necessities like snacks and the like, but prices for basic items continue to rise.

“If this program only lasts six months, it is certainly not long enough. I mean, how long will inflation last? And we don’t know if the prices will stabilize,” Nagarajan said. malaysian mail.

The program also seemed to suffer from a communication problem as some residents were unaware of its existence while others thought it was an event to donate food items.

The apartment fair here was part of a larger scheme to offer chicken and eggs below their price caps, along with other essentials sold by trucks that visited at regular intervals.  — Photo by Ahmad Zamzahuri

The apartment fair here was part of a larger scheme to offer chicken and eggs below their price caps, along with other essentials sold by trucks that visited at regular intervals. — Photo by Ahmad Zamzahuri

Instead, they discovered coupons that allowed them to buy groceries at a lower cost, such as RM3 off for a whole chicken worth RM15 and a 10-egg platter for 50 sen of less.

“We thought it was free,” said Siti Hasmah, 72, a former cleaner in the Prime Minister’s Office.

She expressed doubts about the price of chicken and eggs, noting that both were already subsidized. Siti also spoke of cooking oil being sold for the same price as elsewhere, which she said was already too expensive.

Still, she said the minor discounts were appreciated, as was the government’s attempt to help.

Siti Hasmah speaks to Malay Mail during MyGrocer@Wilayah initiative in Cheras on July 14, 2022. - Image by Shafwan Zaidon
Siti Hasmah speaks to Malay Mail during the [email protected] initiative in Cheras on July 14, 2022. – Image by Shafwan Zaidon

“So I thought since the government said they were in financial trouble, I’m willing to give them some money back,” she laughed.

Siti said she and her family have been struggling since 2019 due to political instability in the country and said things got worse during the pandemic.

His family was still making ends meet, but cutbacks were necessary.

At the same fair, 72-year-old retiree Chan Yuet Mui came and left with just one chicken.

“They (the organizers) just knocked on our doors earlier to tell us about this event, giving us the coupons. So, we decided to come down and have a look,” said Chan, who lived alone with her husband.

Chan Yuet Mui, 72, said she also wanted to buy eggs, but realized they cost more at the fair than at the places she usually shopped.  — Photo by Shafwan Zaidon

Chan Yuet Mui, 72, said she also wanted to buy eggs, but realized they cost more at the fair than at the places she usually shopped. — Photo by Shafwan Zaidon

She pointed out that the only discounted items were chicken and eggs, while others, like vegetables, were not.

Chee said she also wanted to buy eggs, but realized they cost more at the fair than at the places she usually shopped.

“Good thing they parked right next to my building. If it’s in a mall, I wouldn’t go even if it’s free,” she said.

Another resident, Kamaluddin Rahimi, said he hoped to see more discounted items, especially vegetables at the fair.

The part-time driver from Grab whose parents lived with his family said he reduced his meat consumption due to rising prices.

“I think vegetable prices will also go up soon, so ultimately I don’t know what we’re going to eat,” he said with a sigh.

The [email protected] aimed to give more than 11,000 residents the opportunity to purchase chicken and eggs at reduced prices.

Approximately 1,707 coupons were distributed.

At the event, Federal Lands Minister Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim said the nationwide average chicken price was RM9.16 and the government would strictly enforce the price cap.

“The goal is to make sure people benefit from these fixed prices,” he told reporters when he met.

Some residents noted that the discounted selection was too small to effectively help them fight inflation.  — Photo by Ahmad Zamzahuri

Some residents noted that the discounted selection was too small to effectively help them fight inflation. — Photo by Ahmad Zamzahuri