ALOR SETAR, Dec 28: The Malaysian Malay Rice Millers’ Association (PPBMM) has requested the government to set the quota for padi purchases at only 20,000 metric tonnes for each mill in the country.
Its chairman, Mohamad Termizi Yop said the move would ensure that each mill has equal opportunities, particularly bumiputera-owned mills.
“Currently, with no set quota, some millers get paddy purchases of 40,000, 60,000 and 70,000 metric tonnes,” he said at a media conference after PPBMM’s 46th annual general meeting here today.
According to him, the association also discovered that many small scale millers, especially those owned by Bumiputera, went out of business when they failed to secure padi purchases to cover the operating costs.
He said in Kedah, out of 35 Bumiputera millers, only seven are still operating.
Mohamad Termizi said the prescribed quota would also help to tackle various issues related to the country’s rice supply, such as misappropriation and fraud, which have led to the recent shortage.
Besides that, he said PPBMM called for the reassessment of the transfer of padi from one state to another, adding that the government should first obtain input from millers in the relevant states.
“This matter also needs attention to prevent unreasonable price offers from middlemen and profiteering,” he said.
He also urged the government to ensure the country’s stockpile comprises only local rice and provides warehouses in every state.