JOHOR BAHRU, Sept 26 — The Johor state Paddy and Rice Regulation agency denied claims that a supermarket at a shopping complex in Permas Jaya was hoarding local rice and selling it to foreigners.
The agency’s director Mohd Alieff Sabeh said after carrying out an investigation at the said location, the agency found no basis for such claims and the incident could just be a misunderstanding.
Mohd Alieff said a Facebook account holder had alleged that the supermarket had taken local rice out of the store and sold it to foreigners but the claim was not true.
“Investigations carried out by officers from the agency at the alleged supermarket, found there was no local rice on the premises. There were only three rice packets that were torn.
“During inspection, there was one bag of rice that was not torn, but sandwiched between two torn bags of rice and incidentally a group of foreigners who were at the location asked if there was any rice for sale. Upon finding the bag, they took it to the counter,” he said after visiting the Maslee Supermarket together with Pasir Gudang MP Hassan Abdul Karim and the Johor Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Ministry (KPDN).
On Saturday, a woman had claimed, on her Facebook account, that a Nepalese worker from the supermarket had taken a bag of local rice from the store and given it to another Nepalese person.
Mohd Alieff added that so far there has been no issues of hoarding local rice and advised supermarkets and hypermarkets in Johor to report to the agency if their premises had a shortage of supply for local rice.
He added that such information would be necessary to send local rice to the respective destinations as Johor will be provided an additional supply of 60 tonnes of local rice, in addition to the 100 tonnes received earlier.
Meanwhile, Hassan denied claims that there was a shortage of controlled items in Pasir Gudang.
He added that such rumours would cause unnecessary panic and result in all kinds of problems.