Smuggling, scrapping of subsidies fuelling shortage of cheapest cooking oil in Malaysia

Trader Mahasan Yasar, 53, with two 1kg polybag packets of subsidised cooking oil at his shop in Tunjong, Malaysia. PHOTO: FOTOBERNAMA
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KUALA LUMPUR - Smuggling, the scrapping of subsidies, as well as fertiliser and labour shortages are some factors fuelling a shortage of the cheapest cooking oil in Malaysia, the second-largest producer of palm oil in the world.

The government abolished subsidies for 1kg, 2kg, 3kg and 5kg cooking oil bottles from July 1 but kept them for 1kg polybag packets, which economists say has led to consumers scrambling to buy the cheaper product, leading to a shortfall.

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