Shafie asks state government to reduce rising cooking oil prices

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah, as the country’s largest producer of palm oil, should step in to help reduce the price of cooking oil, says Parti Warisan president Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal.

He said the state government should also address the rising cost of food items, as people’s purchasing power had been greatly reduced due to the economic downturn.

“The government must address this problem because the people are already burdened by the economic downturn due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and price hikes will make life even harder for them,” said the state Opposition leader.

Based on his recent walkabout at a market in Sandakan, he said that the prices for 500g of cooking oil is above RM5 and almost RM30 for three kilograms.

Shafie said the then Warisan-led state government had launched the “Bess” brand to make cooking oil affordable for the people.

However, it was now selling at RM29.70 for 5kg, from around RM20 two years ago.

“Sabah has more than enough supply of palm oil to produce our very own cooking oil,” he said, adding that apart from Bess made in Tawau, “Gold” brand in Sandakan and “Onsoi” brand were launched by the previous state government.

In a statement on Saturday (April 30), Shafie said that the state government had invested millions of ringgit to put up “Sabah Maju Jaya” signboards all over the state.

He said such money could be better used for repairing dangerous pothole-ridden roads, especially the Telupid-Sandakan road that could endanger road users.

He also said the money could have been used to overcome water supply issues even in urban areas like Kota Kinabalu and Sandakan, as well as overcoming frequent power cuts across the state.