Malaysia has raised its price ceiling for standard chicken to RM9.40 (S$3) per kg, said Agriculture and Food Industries Minister Ronald Kiandee in a statement on Wednesday (June 29).
The new prices will take effect on Friday.
The ceiling price for standard chicken was previously set at RM8.90 per kg in Peninsular Malaysia, and was slated to be removed on July 1.
The government had earlier said it would lift ceiling prices on chicken and eggs from July after measures to control food inflation created market distortions.
Datuk Seri Dr Kiandee said the decision was taken by the Cabinet after taking into account a cash assistance scheme announced by Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob, in which cash aid of RM500 will be given to eligible low- and middle-income households.
According to him, some 8.6 million households have been approved to be recipients so far, and they are slated to receive up to RM2,600 in aid this year alone.
“This is the biggest aid given by any government,” he added.
Dr Kiandee also said Putrajaya had allocated RM369.5 million (S$117 million) to subsidize chicken and egg prices, bringing the total amount spent on subsidies to RM1.1 billion since Feb 5.
“The increase in prices of goods is an issue that is not just happening in Malaysia, but is a global phenomenon due to the supply chain disruption triggered by geopolitical conflict and climate change.”
“Nevertheless, the government is trying its best to set a price control mechanism to ensure the Malaysian family isn’t burdened by the challenges of the cost of living,” he said.
The government has also decided to set up a special team to tame price pressures, Datuk Seri Ismail said in a statement after chairing a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday.
The team, which will include Finance Minister Zafrul Aziz and Economy Minister Mustapa Mohamed, will meet every Monday and Thursday.
Last Friday, Ismail also announced that the current water and electricity tariff rate for domestic users in Peninsular Malaysia will be maintained, and subsidies worth RM5.8 billion will be borne by the government as the country faces sharp increases in fuel and other costs.
SOURCE: NEWS AGENCIES