Malaysia's govt to conduct full audit, joint raids to curb smuggling of cooking oil, says PM

Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said distribution of subsidised cooking oil amounted to 60,000 tonnes per month. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A thorough audit of manufacturers and packaging premises nationwide will be carried out to tackle the smuggling of subsidised cooking oil, said Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

At the same time, joint raids will be conducted on factories along the borders to check on misappropriation, Datuk Seri Ismail added.

He said distribution of subsidised cooking oil amounted to 60,000 tonnes per month and exceeded household consumption in the country.

The operation, involving 22 manufacturers and 305 repackaging operations, will see strict action against offenders including revoking quotas and licences, he said.

"This measure is to ensure that the cooking oil subsidy allocation of RM4 billion channelled this year to reduce the burden of Keluarga Malaysia... will reach consumers," Mr Ismail said in a statement on Monday (July 4). RM4 billion is S$1.3 billion.

"The government has deployed enforcement personnel from the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry, the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) and the Malaysian Armed Forces to raid packaging factories at the border to ensure that no irregularities occur," he added.

The comprehensive audit aimed to derive the actual amount of subsidised cooking oil produced and packaged in the country, as well as full information of the recipients, he said after a meeting with the National Action Council on Cost of Living (Naccol).

The meeting was attended by several Cabinet Ministers as well as representatives from the Statistics Department, Malaysian Institute of Economic Research, Khazanah Research Institute, Malay Economic Action Council, the Congress of Unions of Employees in the Public and Civil Services, the Federation of Malaysian Consumer Associations, and the Malaysian Retail Chain Association.

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