Enough food supply, don’t panic buy – Minister

PUTRAJAYA – The public has been advised against panic buying as it can cause shortage in supply of essential goods in the market.

Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi, in a statement today said the supply of goods in the market is currently under control.

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“All enforcement personnel of the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (MDTCA) in all states will continue to conduct daily monitoring to ensure sufficient supply of essential goods in the market for consumers,” he said.

Nanta said he believed the panic buying that was reported in some areas in the country was in anticipation of an announcement to be made by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin tomorrow on the action to be taken by the government to address the current COVID-19 situation.

Panic buying should not happen as there is enough supply of goods at all sectors, and all business premises of manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers are operating as usual, he added.

Nanta said the situation was different when the Movement Control Order (PKP) was first enforced on March 18 last year as most business premises had to be closed and this affected the supply of essential goods in the market.

He said the ministry would continue to monitor daily on the supply of essential goods, like sugar, cooking oil, wheat flour, rice, white bread, powdered milk, chicken, vegetables, eggs, onions, hand sanitiser and face mask in the market.

The monitoring of these 12 essential goods involves 2,711 retailers, 1,039 wholesalers and 223 manufacturers nationwide, he added.

Enough time

Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob was of a similar opinion yesterday, saying that the people will be given enough time to make preparations before any measure is implemented to control the recent surge in COVID-19 cases.

He advised the people to refrain from panic buying following speculations that the government would be reimplementing the Movement Control Order (MCO) nationwide.

The people are also urged not to be easily taken in by fake news or assumptions made by various quarters on the decision to be announced.

“There is no need to go into a buying frenzy…all that had gone viral are fake news… just wait for the government’s announcement.

“Whatever the decision, it will not be enforced with immediate effect, time will be given (to prepare) perhaps two, three days or more,” he said when visiting flood victims at Sekolah Kebangsaan Kerayong relief centre, yesterday.

On speculations that the MCO would be implemented again he said he was confident that the government will not implement a total lockdown as per the previous MCO… the NSC (National Security Council) and technical meeting will still be on this Monday, to look into more detailed SOP (standard operating procedures).

“Whatever the decision, it is in the best interests of the people, so do not panic,” he added.