Cheaper chicken likely to be on the menu for Malaysians

The government earlier decided to open the permits for chicken imports to all approved permit holders, opening up the supply.

Gerard Gimino and Ili Aquilah

Gerard Gimino and Ili Aquilah

The Star


Affordable again: Chicken prices are set to fall further after the government opened up the APs for hypermarkets to import the birds. — IZZRAFIQ ALIAS/The Star

February 4, 2022

PETALING JAYA – Expect chicken prices to fall further now that the government has opened up the approved permits (AP) for hypermarkets to import the birds.

Retail chains have welcomed the government’s decision and promised to lower prices, although consumer groups say this can only be a temporary measure to address the rising price of chicken.

Mydin Mohamed Holdings Bhd (Mydin) managing director Datuk Ameer Ali Mydin said the decision to open up permits for chicken imports to all AP holders and hypermarket operators would see chicken prices reduced.

“If our AP is approved, we believe we can sell dressed chicken at 50 sen cheaper than the ceiling price of RM8.90,” he said.

“We submitted our AP application yesterday and hope it will be quickly approved so that we can have sufficient supplies for Hari Raya.”Hari Raya Aidilfitri falls on May 3 this year.

Ameer said although the approval of APs was a step in the right direction, measures should be taken to source for potential supplies in countries other than China and Thailand.

“The Department of Islamic Development (Jakim) should also go to the ground and check more abattoirs to source for potential supply options.

“A temporary measure would be to approve abattoirs that are already utilised by countries such as Saudi Arabia to tackle the current market demands,” said Ameer.

He added that with more parties holding APs, profiteering activities could be stopped as there would be ample supply.

The government had on Jan 31 decided to open the permits for chicken imports to all AP holders, besides opening up the AP to hypermarkets operators to resolve the food supply issue, especially for chicken and eggs.

Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) president Mohideen Abdul Kader, while welcoming the decision, said it was only a stop-gap measure, adding that strengthening sustainable local production was the best approach.

“We urge the government to seriously look at producing livestock within the country to avoid imports which can prove to be costly.

“The authorities should reduce instances of profiteering,” he said.

He also agreed with efforts by the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry through the Malaysian Competition Commission (MyCC) to continuously study and conduct investigations to ensure that there were no price cartels or manipulation by middlemen.

Meanwhile, Federation of Malaysian Consumers Associations (Fomca) president Datuk N. Marimuthu called for APs to be abolished rather than setting a ceiling price for chicken.

He said certain parties had turned the APs into monopolies, resulting in increasing food prices.

“It is pointless to have limited permits for vegetables, including mangoes, coconuts, papayas, meat and nine types of seafood, because it gives room for ‘certain quarters’ to determine the prices of food.

“The right thing to do is to get rid of APs as a whole,” he said.

The Federation of Livestock Farmers’ Associations of Malaysia was tight-lipped on the issue.

However, the Manjung Poultry Farmers Association in Ipoh, representing over 200 poultry farms in the area, felt the decision to open up the APs would only lead to more businesses shutting down soon.

The association said it would send a letter to relevant ministers to discuss the imposed price cap for chicken and eggs.

“As poultry suppliers, we will no longer make profit and I can assure you that at least half the poultry farms in Manjung will close down.

“The government is focused on helping consumers but they forget about suppliers like us. They should at least subsidise the chicken feed,” said the association’s president Tan Wooi Perng.

On Jan 31, Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi said the government had lowered the maximum retail price for standard chicken from RM9.10 to RM8.90 effective this Saturday until June 5.

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