KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim has threatened legal action against anyone found hoarding rice, as concern over rising prices and supply shortages have led to consumers stockpiling local grains.
Malaysia, which imports about 38 per cent of its rice needs, is among countries feeling the impact of export restrictions imposed by top rice producers like India, leading to panic-buying by consumers and higher prices.
“If anyone dares to take advantage when people are struggling to find rice … you hoard, we will find you, sue you, and take you to court,” Anwar said at a rally late on Monday (Oct 2).
The agricultural and food security ministry has been instructed to step up enforcement and monitoring to curb hoarding, he said.
The price of imported white rice in Malaysia has increased by over 30 per cent in the past month, prompting higher demand for local rice, prices of which are capped by the government.