KUALA LUMPUR • Malaysia will remove subsidies on most packages of cooking oil from Nov 1, the first time in 10 years that the price of the key cooking ingredient will be hiked.
The move, announced two days before Prime Minister Najib Razak unveils Budget 2017, is expected to push up prices of food sold in restaurants and at roadside stalls.
Subsidies for all but two sizes of cooking oil packages will be removed, said the Malayan Edible Oil Manufacturers' Association in a statement on Wednesday.
The two packages that will retain subsidies until the end of the year are 1kg polybags and 5kg bottles of cooking oil. From Jan 1, only the price of the 1kg polybag will still be subsidised. All the other sizes, such as 500g, 1kg, 2kg and 3kg bottles, will no longer be subsidised in what is seen as a move to boost government revenues.
"All retail prices of blended cooking oil in various packing sizes will also no longer be subsidised," the association said.
It said the removal of the subsidies was in line with the Restructuring of Cooking Oil Price Stabilisation Scheme implemented by the government in June 2007 when oil palm prices were high globally.
The Federation of Malaysian Consumers Association says its main concern is that traders would increase the prices of cooked food.
The Federation of Malaysian Consumers Associations (Fomca) said its main concern was that traders would increase the prices of cooked food. "The government needs to ensure that traders will not increase prices by too much," said Fomca deputy president Mohd Yusof Abdul Rahman.
Federation of Malaysian Hawkers Association president Yaw Boon Choon said the removal of subsidies would affect food traders.
Ms Angeline Leong, 47, who works in the property management sector, said she planned to stock up on cooking oil.
"Usually, I buy a 5kg pack of cooking oil a month. Now I will buy four or five bottles," she said.
THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK