KUALA LUMPUR, June 8 — Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim wants the government to take firm action against those who seek to dominate the local seafood supply in the country that has caused recent price fluctuations in the market.
He said he had been reading news reports on allegations of a group of middlemen who seek to control the seafood supply chain and is concerned.
“The government through the ministries involved needs to state its stance on this matter and at the same time, find a way to unravel the problems that occur and offer solutions.
“Do not let the middlemen syndicate dominate the supply of the fisheries sector and continue to oppress the fishermen in this country,” the PKR president said on Facebook today.
Malaysia’s seafood supply is the latest to be added to the growing basket of food security concerns after the country was reported to be hit with a raw chicken shortage that saw prices soar past the government imposed ceiling and Putrajaya ban its export to safeguard domestic consumption.
Last week, the Fisheries Development Authority identified several factors to increasing prices amid the diminishing supply of the country’s catch, which it attributed to a lack of manpower, bureaucratic issues, and a flawed delivery system.
In May, Malay news portal Getaran cited unnamed sources claiming a “fish cartel” controlling the prices and supply of fish in the country amid an existing shortage.
The Malay news portal also reported two weeks ago that small-sized mackerel which were previously sold at RM3 to RM4 per kilogramme is now sold for anywhere between RM12 and RM14.
Separately, the president of the Fish Industry General Association Chia Tian Hee told regional news website Channel News Asia that fish prices in Malaysia have risen between 10 and 30 per cent for different varieties of fish.