Essential good distribution benefits Sabah, Sarawak residents

Essential good distribution benefits Sabah, Sarawak residents

KUCHING: Residents in Ba’Kelalan, Sarawak, have not raised complaints on the increase in the prices of essential goods since the Distribution of Essential Goods, Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) and Community Drumming programme was implemented by the government in 2009.

Roger Duyong, 63, said this was based on the feedback he received when visiting his relatives in settlements near the Malaysia-Indonesia border in the northern part of the state.

“I haven’t heard any complaints of price hikes on essential items from my family members here for more than 10 years now,” he said when contacted by Bernama.

Roger said before the programme was implemented by the government, the prices of LPG and fuel in Ba’Kelalan had doubled.

“The reason for the price hikes was transportation costs as these goods have to be transported through former logging roads and took up to six hours to arrive here,” he said.

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Lian Pasan, 55, from Bario, the interior highland area in the Baram district, northern Sarawak said the programme also helped reduce operating costs for residents there.

“The subsidy given by the government has greatly reduced the prices of essential items which were relatively expensive before and of course this reduction can help promote Bario as a tourist attraction,” he said.

In Sabah, State Consumer Affairs and Protection Society (CAPS) deputy chairman Datuk A. Nagaraju opined that the implementation mechanism for the programme should be refined to ensure its effectiveness as the prices of goods, especially in rural areas, were still high.

“The government should conduct a thorough study on how to standardise the prices of essential items between the Peninsula, Sabah and Sarawak because the various programmes carried out had not been effective,” he told Bernama.- Bernama