Saturday, May 10, 2008

Artificial Shortage of Rice in Malaysia

While Thailand wanted to set up a rice cartel to protect the rice industry and their interest, Malaysia's local rice millers have thought of a similar step as well, though not legalised or authorised.

Padiberas Nasional Bhd (Bernas), the company authorised by the government to import rice supplies and managed local distribution of rice has briefed the media that the shortage was not caused by them but by local rice millers. Bernas said that they control about 45% of the rice supplies, of which 30% were imported and remaining was locally sourced.

So, who was causing the shortage and in this case, an artifical shortage. Rice, being the one of the main food in Asia and Malaysia too, are partly price controlled and those at higher grades would be sold according to market price. But rice millers saw the opportunity and somehow somewhere stored up the supplies or reduce production in creating an artifical shortage.

It's really a joke when Malaysia has quite a substantive paddy fields up in the north which could cater to lots of Malaysians but such situation could arise.

I didn't say this but Bernas declared it openly in the media briefing that private rice millers are the guilty ones. If the Malaysian government wants to use the Internal Security Act ("ISA") law then it should be used on these private rice millers owners. Any artificial shortage may create unrest as all Malaysians will rush to the convenience shops, supermarkets and hypermarkets to buy unnecessary amount to store for 'just in case' situation. It could create tense situations in those places where citizens may fight for it.

Ain't this national interest and causing national unrest? The government is always fast to react on the usage of ISA law against the opposition political parties but then when it comes to such situation as highlighted above, the government tend to turn a deaf ear to it. Why?

Who are the private rice millers in Malaysia? Who are the owners? You want to earn those profits at the risk of Malaysia going into an unrest situation? What kind of Malaysian are you?
Tags: Rice, Rice Millers, Internal Security Act, ISA, Padiberas Nasional Bhd, Bernas, Artifical Shortage, Malaysia

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