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Anwar denies claims Malaysia Madani White Rice will support cartel activities

Publish date: Mon, 19 Feb 2024, 09:44 PM

KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 19): Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim on Monday denied claims suggesting that the proposal for Malaysia Madani White Rice would support cartel activities that mix Local White Rice (SST) and Imported White Rice (SSI).

Anwar said that, on the contrary, the government's action is aimed at curbing cartel interference, but there has been no decision regarding the issue so far, and it will be discussed in more detail at the upcoming National Action Council on Cost of Living (NACCOL) meeting.

"No, we are cutting cartel intervention but we will discuss with NACCOL. No decision (yet)," he told reporters after attending a 'Meet-and-Greet' session with Maybank staff and the Launch of the 'myimpact SME HUB' Empowerment Programme at Menara Maybank here on Monday.

Also present were Minister of Finance II Datuk Seri Amir Hamzah Azizan; Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Religious Affairs), Datuk Dr Mohd Na'im Mokhtar; Deputy Minister of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Datuk R Ramanan, and Maybank Group chairman Tan Sri Zamzamzairani Mohd Isa.

Anwar, who is also Finance Minister, said this in response to remarks by Umno Youth chief Dr Akmal Saleh, who urged Anwar not to allow the introduction of Malaysia Madani white rice as proposed by Bukit Gantang Member of Parliament Syed Abu Hussin Hafiz Syed Abdul Fasal, claiming that it supports cartel activities.

On Feb 14, Syed Abu Hussin Hafiz, who is also the chairman of NACCOL's Food Cluster Task Force, announced that the government would introduce Madani Malaysian White Rice, which would be sold at RM30 per 10 kilogrammes starting Feb 19, with expectations to hit the market by March 1.

He stated that this meant that there will no longer be categories of SST and SSI, except for Madani Malaysian White Rice as a single category.

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