The Borneo Post (Sabah)

Not all goods in East Malaysia more expensive than in Peninsula — Nanta


KUCHING: Not all goods sold in Sarawak and Sabah are more expensive than those sold in Peninsular Malaysia, says Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Dato Sri Alexander Nanta Linggi.

In a statement Thursday, he said an analysis of prices showed that basket values for fresh fish, fresh seafood, as well as liquid or condensed milk in Sarawak and Sabah were cheaper than in the peninsula.

"Sabah also recorded cheaper basket values for other products made from grains, fresh meat, fresh and re-mixed milk, fresh vegetables, potatoes, and sweet potatoes, compared to the peninsula. Sarawak, on the other hand, showed cheaper basket values for coconuts and beans and dried/pickled vegetables compared to the peninsula.

"Based on this analysis, Sarawak, Sabah, and the peninsula do not show a significan­t price difference as the baskets in Sabah and Sarawak are offset by cheaper goods compared to the peninsula. Therefore, all consumers should take this opportunit­y to practise smarter spending," he added.

The December 2020 Consumer Price Index (CPI) report showed that both regions did not record high average price — with Sarawak in sixth place, while Sabah was at 15th place in terms of basket price values.

Nanta said transporta­tion costs were identified as the main factor that affected the difference in prices for necessitie­s not originatin­g from or processed in Sarawak or Sabah.

Other factors contributi­ng to the price imbalance between Peninsular Malaysia, Sarawak, and Sabah were poor distributi­on channels, port inefficien­cy, high handling charges, and inefficien­t ground transporta­tion, he said.

As such, he said the government has implemente­d initiative­s such as the Sarawak, Sabah, and Labuan Price Standardis­ation Programme (Port to Port) and the Essential Goods, LPG, and Community Drumming Distributi­on Programme, aimed at standardis­ing prices in Sarawak and Sabah.

He also said the government has also implemente­d Cabotage Policy exemptions in Sarawak and Sabah to reduce shipping costs.

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