Saturday October 13, 2012
Rural folk want more essential items standardised
By STEPHANIE LEE
KOTA KINABALU: Rural folk in Sabah are hoping for more essential goods to be included in the list of items which prices will be standardised nationwide.
Fishmonger Annie Chin, 70, said the move to reduce and standardise prices was a good way of helping rural folks, especially those who lived on subsistence farming.
“I hope more items will be listed,” said Chin who lives in the interior Keningau district.
“It benefits us in the rural areas,” she said. “Even a small difference, such as RM1 or RM2, is savings for us.
“I save a few ringgit from some subsidised items and a little bit more from other goods,” she pointed out. “When I total these up, it actually makes a difference to poor families like mine,” she said, expressing hope that a Kedai Rakyat 1Malaysia (KR1M) shop would be set up in her area.
“The 1Malaysia people's aid or Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia (BR1M) for those earning less than RM3,000 monthly also helps in lessening the people's burden,” Chin said.
Since 2009, the prices of seven items sugar, grade ST15 rice, flour, cooking oil, diesel, RON95 petrol, and cooking gas have been standardised nationwide.
According to Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry officials here, about 250 more products are expected to be included next year, adding that 50 were added last year.
Salesman Tommy Sembeh also hoped for more items to be included under the scheme.
“The Government is moving step by step to lower prices of goods here by standardisation but it would be better if more products are listed,” he said. “It may not mean as much for people in the cities, but it does a lot for those in villages,” added the 36-year-old from Tuaran.