Najib rubbishes Anwar’s solutions on chicken price, palm oil issues

(FMT) – Former prime minister Najib Razak has dismissed opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim’s suggestions on solving the current chicken and palm oil crisis in the country, saying they are not workable.

“His suggestions are illogical. They won’t solve the problem but will instead worsen the situation,” he said in a Facebook post.

Najib said Anwar’s recommendation to limit palm oil exports was not going to solve the issue of rising cooking oil prices in the country.

“Indonesia tried doing this but backtracked when palm oil dumping was an issue in the country and they ended up facing huge losses,” he said.

The government, he said, must instead ensure that local manufacturers do not cease production because of high stocks and plummeting palm oil prices.

As for the subsidised cooking oil in polybags, Najib said, the issue is not insufficient supply as the government supplied 60,000 tonnes of subsidised cooking oil a month.

“The problems that need to be solved are leakages, smuggling and the misuse of these subsidised polybags of cooking oil by commercial companies and factories,” he said.

Najib also criticised Anwar’s suggestion for the government to act against chicken suppliers, following the increase in chicken prices.

Last Tuesday, Anwar urged the government to go after “unscrupulous chicken suppliers” instead of chicken sellers and wholesalers following a rise in chicken prices.

“He (Anwar) accused poultry farmers of hoarding chicken stocks deliberately. But this is not the case as these farmers will still have to bear the cost of such actions.

“So, raiding and restricting poultry farmers will not work as it will only end up reducing chicken supply and lead to a further increase in the price,” he said.

Najib then took aim at the previous Perikatan Nasional-led (PN) government, led by former prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin, saying they did nothing to prevent the increase in the price of chicken.

“They failed to remedy the impending crisis by not resolving the primary causes for the increase in the price of chicken, including the lack of manpower, the hike in electricity costs, and the increase in the price of chicken feed.

“As a result, many farmers reduced production or stopped operations entirely, instead of being forced to suffer losses by selling chickens at a lower price,” he said.