SHAH ALAM: Some retailers in Selangor have resorted to limiting the sale of one-kilogramme packets of cooking oil in order to control its supply in the market, especially with the Deepavali festival this Saturday.
According to Selangor Chief Enforcement Officer of the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry (KPDNKK), Abdul Rosik Yakub, this was because consumers were panic-buying and exceeding their actual needs. [.....]
Abdul Rosik was commenting on the re-structuring of the Cooking Oil Stabilisation Scheme (COSS) with the price of one-kilogramme cooking oil packets retained at RM2.50. However cooking oil in bottles will be sold at market price effective Nov 1.
Abdul Rosik said the department received complaints from some retailers who said they had run out of cooking oil packets because consumers had bought more than they needed when they believed the rumour that the price of cooking oil would be increased.
Meanwhile, in Kangar, Perlis KPDNKK advised the public not to panic and buy cooking oil in excess.
A Bernama observation found that since yesterday, consumers were buying excessive amounts of cooking oil in packets and bottles, resulting in the one-kilogramme packets of cooking oil running out of stock in most shops and major supermarkets here.
According to Perlis KPDNKK Chief Enforcement Officer, Jamal Nor Ahmad Harun the situation occurred because consumers were influenced by rumours that the price of packed cooking oil would increase by 40 sen.
Related: my post yesterday titled: Those pink price tags
Once upon a time, when there was rumours of the prices of eggs, sugar and flour going up, up and up because of festivals like Hari Raya and Chinese New Year coinciding in their dates of celebrations, there was panic buying by my villagers.
My auntie ended up purchasing 20 dozen eggs, just in case the next day there would be a nuclear war between Bhutan and Brunei, wakakaka.
Now, if my arithmetic is still sound, wakakaka (well, it never was in school which has been why I still remember Mr Cheah's six strokes of his rotan), that was 240 eggs.
My auntie was widowed and her children had all grown up, some married, but all living in various parts of Malaysia, with even a daughter, a bachelor sweetheart-teacher posted to Tawau, at the Eastern end of Malaysia (while Penang was at the Western end of our nation), a place where ikan like bawal putih, kurau and big udang were extraordinary cheap but the bachelor men were somewhat 'chowkana' (disastrous), wakakaka.
Tawau fish market
After the price-rise fear leading to the panic buying subsided, auntie suddenly realized she had 240 eggs to eat by her lonesome self. That was the sad consequence of her kiasu mentality. So she called me up (then I was still a teenager) and gave 120 eggs to my family.
I didn't know what she did with the remaining 120 eggs?
But that's panic buying to purportedly 'save' on the rumoured rise of an extra 3 sen per egg. Now, say that was true, my auntie theoretically 'saved' (wakakaka) a magnificent RM7.20.
But I wonder how much the 240 eggs cost her? And how much she gave away before the eggs in her possession turned rotten. All that to purportedly 'save' on 3 sen per egg.
It's not unlike rumoured petrol price rise. You would then be able to see (as I had) long long long queues of vehicles at petrol stations, sometimes for miles, traffic jams galore, tempers ablaze, just to buy some litres of petrol before its price changed the next day.
But in those queues I wondered and still do how much petrol was consumed by the idling engines of those cars and bikes as the drivers waited for their turn, or if they had turned the engines off while waiting, how much stress they imposed on their batteries (and the lives of their batteries) as they restarted their vehicles some dozen times each time the queues inched forward.
It's understandable in places like, say, Iraq where drivers are FORCED to queue up to get petrol or else be left with vehicles unable to move - all thanks to the Coalition of the Killing who invaded the land of plentiful petroleum.
But in Malaysia it's just to save an extra few sen in anticipation of rumoured petrol price rise while at the same time burning off several sen worth of real petrol. Aiyoyo, our world class mentality.
Penny wise, pound foolish?
Memang Malaysia Boleh.