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The Government Has Secretly Raised Sugar Prices By 11 Cents

It was done without any official announcement or prior explanation.

Cover image via Reuters

Sugar prices have gone up by 11 cents for every kg you buy

Image via tsbreview

Malaysiakini reported yesterday, 1 March, that 1 kg of sugar now costs RM2.95. This is a 4% increase since the last price adjustment in 2013, when sugar was priced at RM2.84 per kg.

On 26 October 2013, the government abolished the sugar subsidy due to the high diabetic rate among Malaysians under the age of 30.

News of the sugar price hike was confirmed by Federation of Sundry Goods Merchants Association of Malaysia president Hong Chee Meng, Malaysiakini reported

According to him, the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry only sent a message via WhatsApp to inform them about the price hike.

"I received it at about 3pm. I was informed through WhatsApp. There was no official letter," Hong was quoted as saying.

Although there hasn't been an official announcement from the ministry, Hong thinks that there is a good reason for it

He opined that the government did not make any official announcement to deter retailers and consumers from hoarding the sugar supplies.

This could be possibly true as the announcement that subsidy for cooking oil will be removed caused a massive panic buy among consumers last year.

Meanwhile, Hong reportedly described "the price increase as mild" considering the fluctuating trend of global sugar price and weak ringgit, adding that the last price hike was at RM0.20 per kg.

Image via Getty Images

Last November, there were calls to increase the prices of sugar, which are being controlled by the government

It was reported that MSM Malaysia had requested to the government to look into raising the ceiling price of sugar by 20% to 30%. MSM Malaysia argued that the hike in world price for sugar and foreign exchange loss had caused them to "stumble through global economic uncertainty".

MSM is one of the two biggest players in the industry, the other being Tradewinds Group.

It is noted that sugar is one of the controlled items that is being regulated under the Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act 2011. Individuals who are caught selling the commodity above the ceiling price could face a RM100,000 fine, or three years' jail or both. Meanwhile, companies that are caught for violating the law could face a RM500,000 fine.

Do you think there should have been an official announcement before the new prices are enforced? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

Speaking of price hikes, the current petrol prices are at their highest since the managed float system was first introduced in December 2014:

An economist has shared some tips on how you can survive these price hikes in 2017:

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