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RM85 enough for family of 4's groceries at gov't sale

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RM85 is enough to buy groceries for a family of four at the government's 'Jualan Sentuhan Rakyat' sale says, Domestic Trade, Cooperatives, and Consumerism Minister Hamzah Zainuddin.

"I have calculated, with just RM85, for a family of four, you can buy (among others) chicken, 'Q-Fish' which is just RM9 per kg," Hamzah said at a press conference in Kuala Lumpur today.

He did not specify how long the RM85 worth of groceries is meant to sustain such a family.

Q-Fish refers to a brand of flash-frozen fresh fish sold by the Fisheries Development Authority of Malaysia (LKIM).

"No one talks about rising price of goods anymore. Now everyone says BN is 'bina negara' (developing the country). BN is no longer 'barang naik' (rising price of goods)," Hamzah added.

He was asked how the government planned to tackle perception about rising price of goods.

He was speaking after the "Jualan Sentuhan Rakyat" programme in Titiwangsa today.

The programme organised by Hamzah's ministry sells essential goods at lower prices and is meant to benefit the lower income groups.

On allegations that the prices of goods sold at the programme are inconsistent from one place to another, the minister said this is due to logistics.

"Prices will differ between my constituency Larut, and Titiwangsa, and Kemaman, because in rural areas the transportation costs are higher," he said.

He said certain goods such as cooking oil, rice, flour, and sugar are price controlled, while other goods like onions, fish and chicken were relative to the price of goods within a 10km radius.

The price of goods had been a cause of consternation among the public.

Last December, celebrity figures such as Sheila Majid caused a public stir, when she raised concerns about the price of goods, which later became a talking point at the Umno general assembly.

Earlier this month, Ameer Ali Mydin - the managing director of popular hypermarket chain Mydin - said that the country's high GDP figure did not translate into more purchasing power for consumers, and the people were spending less on groceries.

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