chicken being sold at double the price in malaysia - Chicken being sold at double the price in Malaysia

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK)- Chicken in Malaysia is being sold well above the retail ceiling price, up to about RM17 (S$5.33) a kg, at some local grocers.

The government has fixed a retail ceiling price for chicken of RM8.90 (S$2.80) a kg, effective from Feb 5 to June 5.

This comes as the country faces a shortage of chickens along with soaring prices, leading it to stop the export of 3.6 million whole chickens a month from Wednesday (June 1) until production and prices stabilise.

Ms Rohanna Abdullah, said her local supermarket now charges RM17.90 for one kg of chicken.

“Earlier this year, RM17 could get me more than one kilo of chicken at the same supermarket but it’s just too pricey now,” the 60-year-old housewife said.

She added that when she went to the Datuk Keramat morning market in Kuala Lumpur in April, the price was already at RM10.50 per kg.

Health planner Noor Aishah Aziz, 32, said she is puzzled by the inconsistent pricing at her local grocer – it was RM13.50 on one day and RM10.50 the next.

She said that she has reported the matter to the authorities several times, but the situation remained.

“Maybe a more appropriate ceiling price would be RM10, given the increasing operational cost for chicken breeders,” she added.

Housewife Deza Hussain, 52, who had started planting vegetables at home to reduce expenses, feels the government should cap the ceiling price of chickens at RM7.80 to make it affordable to all.

Checks by The Star at the Selayang market in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday (May 31) revealed that one kilo of chicken was sold at around RM10.50.

Chicken seller Mohd Yusof, 60, said he barely made a profit after being charged RM9.80 per kg by wholesalers.

“How are we supposed to pay rent, taxes and electricity if our profit is less than 70 sen per kg?” he said.

He claimed that “third parties” (wholesalers) were even limiting the supply of chicken and he had received only about 40 birds on Tuesday as compared to hundreds before.

“Live chickens are being sold at about RM7 to third parties and they are selling it at RM9.80 to us. We can’t afford to lower our price. If anyone should, it would be the third party,” he said.