Anwar calls on plantation firms to grow fruits, vegetables for local consumption

05 Aug 2023 09:03pm
Anwar delivered a speech at the 16th Malaysian National Economic Conference today.
Anwar delivered a speech at the 16th Malaysian National Economic Conference today.

BUKIT MERTAJAM - Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has called on local plantation companies that have large land reserves to plant vegetables and fruits to cover the country's growing food needs.

Anwar said he had instructed companies such as Sime Darby Bhd, FGV Holdings Bhd and Kumpulan Guthrie Bhd to implement the matter.

"This is a medium-term measure that we can take to deal with the rising cost of living. Malaysia is fertile, why aren't there enough vegetables and fruits? It's a matter of supply and demand.

"That's why we ask these big companies to plant vegetables and fruits. The prices of chillies and onions are now sky high because they are all imported," he said during a dialogue session with staff of Dell Technologies here today.

He added that these big companies also had the expertise and resources to grow essential food crops.

Meanwhile, Anwar said in order to deal with the high cost of living, the government would continue to subsidise basic food items as well as expand the Rahmah initiative nationwide as a short-term solution.

Regarding the government's plans to stabilise the value of the ringgit against foreign currencies, especially the US$, Anwar said the issue was very complex because it was related to the effects of economic actions taken by the United States which were beyond Malaysia's control.

Therefore, Anwar said it was very important to increase the confidence of foreign investors in Malaysia by maintaining political stability under the leadership of the Unity Government.

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"Right now, the ringgit is strengthening slightly due to the influx of foreign investments such as from Tesla, Bosch, Geely and Saudi Aramco, so don't underestimate the need for a stable government with a clear economic policy.

"We cannot just surrender our fate to the United States Federal Reserve because their decisions on interest rates will have vibrations throughout the world, but we can contain the extent by ensuring that there is stability in the government through its economic policies," he said. - BERNAMA