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‘Don’t panic buy’: Malaysians told to keep calm as rice prices spike

AsiaSoutheast Asia

Malaysians told to keep calm as rice prices spike, avoid hoarding: ‘don’t panic buy’

Malaysia imports about 38 per cent of its rice and is now grappling with low supplies after India’s curbs on sales cut global supplies by a fifthThere isn’t currently a rice shortage, the food security minister said, but consumers’ large-scale switch to cheaper local grains is becoming an issueMalaysiaAssociated PressPublished: 10:20am, 3 Oct, 2023Why you can trust SCMP

Malaysia has urged people not to hoard rice after recent panic buying led to empty shelves in supermarkets and grocery stores nationwide, with Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim threatening legal action against anyone found stockpiling.

“If anyone dares to take advantage when people are struggling to find rice … you hoard, we will find you, sue you, and take you to court,” Anwar said at a rally late on Monday.

Agriculture and Food Security Minister Mohamad Sabu said earlier in the day that the government will increase distribution to rural areas to address a supply issue sparked by an increase in the price of imported rice. Malaysia and many countries are grappling with rising rice prices and low supplies after India’s curbs on rice sales cut global supplies by a fifth.

Mohamad said Malaysia’s locally produced rice is capped at 2.60 ringgit per kilogram, the cheapest in the region. So when sole importer Padiberas Nasional Berhad raised the price of imported white rice by 36 per cent on September 1, it prompted many Malaysians to switch from imported rice to cheaper local rice.

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