The price of sugar, which is a controlled item, will be reduced by 10 sen per kilogramme effective Sept 1, said Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail.
Following this, the prices of unrefined sugar will be RM2.85 per kilogramme and RM2.95 per kilogramme for refined sugar.
Saifuddin said this is in line with the trend of sugar prices dropping in the global market.
He pointed out that similar steps have been implemented in neighbouring countries such as Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand, with Malaysia's prices still among the lowest in the region.
“The government is also sensitive to the cost of living issue which, among others, is due to the increase in prices of certain essential goods,” he was quoted as saying by Bernama.
According to Saifuddin, the last time the price of sugar was revised was on March 1, 2017, rising 11 sen to RM2.95 per kg.
The minister was quick to stress, however, that the price drop was not a sign of the government supporting the consumption of more sugar.
He pointed out that in 2016, as many as 3.6 million people aged 18 and above were diabetic and the number could continue to rise unless preventive measures were adopted.
Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad confirmed today that Putrajaya is considering imposing a tax on sugary drinks as a means of encouraging healthy living.
Bernama also reported Saifuddin as saying that four agencies under his ministry would be placed under the Entrepreneur Development Ministry.
The agencies involved are the Cooperatives Commission of Malaysia, Cooperative College of Malaysia, Bank Rakyat and Perbadanan Nasional Berhad.
"Mahathir conveyed the decision to me in writing … this move is effective from the date of the letter, which was several days ago,” he said.
Saifuddin added the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM), Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia (MyIPO) and the Competition Commission of Malaysia (MyCC) would be retained under the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry.