GEORGE TOWN, May 20 — The removal of approved permit (AP) requirement to import foodstuffs will not resolve increasing prices of food items, DAP secretary-general Anthony Loke said today.
He said Putrajaya needs a more comprehensive discussion if it plans on resolving the increasing costs of goods.
'What the government did was a knee-jerk reaction when the increasing costs of goods are due to a lot of different factors, such as from the supply chain to the middlemen, there are a lot of layers to it,” he said in a press conference after a courtesy visit to Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow at the latter’s office in Komtar here.
'It is not about the AP, even though the decision made was immediate, but what we need to do is to look at a multi-factorial solution,” he added
He said he has asked DAP's policy adviser, Tony Pua, to draft a policy paper on inflation and the increase in prices of goods.
'After this policy paper is finalised, we will announce it,” he said.
Loke was commenting on the recent announcement by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob that anyone can now import foodstuffs to ensure a sufficient food supply.
He said this applies to all foodstuffs, including beef and cattle which required APs to import previously.
It was reported that Malaysia would be facing a serious food crisis due to inflation, increasing oil prices, extreme weather conditions, the Covid-19 pandemic and the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
Annually, Malaysia imports over RM50 billion worth of basic foodstuffs such as rice, beef, lamb and cabbage.