Cooking oil shortage rumours: Stop panic buying

Written by: MT Reader | 11 Jan 2018 20:00
Domestic Trade and Consumers Affairs enforcement officers checking a store in Beaufort, Sabah over reports of a shortage of cooking oil. Pic KPDNKK.
Written by:
11 Jan 2018 20:00

Here we go again.

Talk of a shortage of cooking oil is making the rounds and there is already news that in some parts of the country retailers are running out of supply.

Every now and then the same cycle repeats itself, only that the types of goods differ.

There was the time when everyone made a beeline for the stores to get their hands on every available packet of flour possible.

Then there was this period when everyone panicked because there were reports of a sugar shortage (which to me was a good thing anyway because Malaysians take too much sugar).

There were also several occasions when chicken and fish became scarce and everyone rushed to get them.

Now it is the turn of the cooking oil, again.

The thing with the Malaysians is that we panic too soon.

This ‘kiasuness’ in us is the one that causes us to panic buy.

It’s even worse when our own retailers do it, fearing that prices will shoot up for their next order due to low supply.

The greedy ones, meanwhile, will start hoarding, in anticipation of a price increase.

The best thing to do when such artificial shortages happen is not to do a supermarket sweep by panic buying.

Use logic and reason always in these situations.

Malaysia being a palm oil producer, has plenty of palm oil to keep producing cooking oil.

It is quite impossible for a palm oil exporting country to face shortages for its own commodity and products.

We buy things in large amounts as an act of safety but in essence, we make things worse when we panic buy.

Essentially, by clearing off the shelves in one go, we are creating an artificial shortage which in turn will only cause a further rise in the cost of the goods.

So stop all these panic buying. It’s not going help the situation in any way.

On the contrary and in the long run, it’s only going to make things worse by causing a sudden increase in the goods and it’s by-products.

Calm down, let the rumours die on its own and things will return to normal.

S. Mohan




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