KUALA LUMPUR (May 22): The weekly Cabinet meeting will be brought forward to Monday (May 23) to discuss cost of living and food supply issues, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
He said the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry (KPDNHEP) and Agriculture and Food Industries Ministry (MAFI) would brief the Cabinet on these issues, including short- and long-term plans to overcome these problems.
“So, on Monday I'm calling a Cabinet meeting to specifically look into how we can balance this sudden increase in food prices; I've asked KPDNHEP to present (a report).
“The same for food (issue); MAFI needs to report on the supply of food including chicken," he told a press conference after opening the Symposium on Internationalisation of Bahasa Melayu at Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP) here on Sunday (May 22).
Ismail Sabri said the anticipated increase in cost of living is a global phenomenon due to, among others, the Russia-Ukraine conflict and Covid-19 pandemic which have affected food production and supply.
The prime minister also said apart from the approved permit (AP) for food imports, the government is also studying the possibility of abolishing other types of AP to ease the pressure arising from shortages of other goods .
“We hope that by abolishing APs we can at least reduce the pressure faced in terms of supply of goods, and maybe many quarters concerned can reduce prices. But we need to wait to see its effects,” he added.
On Wednesday (May 18), Ismail Sabri said the government had decided to abolish the AP for food imports with immediate effect.