PUTRAJAYA: The existence of middlemen is one of the factors that contribute to the increase in prices of goods, said Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (pix).
Citing an example, he said, a certain vegetable in Cameron Highlands is sold for a price of 50 sen per kilogramme but by the time it reaches the market, the price would have increased to RM7 per kilogramme.
“So in between, something else happened, so all these have to be attended to,” he said at a special interview with the media in conjunction with the first anniversary of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government, here yesterday.
Mahathir was responding to a question on how the PH government is addressing complaints about the cost of living, which has increased in the past one year.
“I think in time the price may not go down but what we want to do is to increase the purchasing power of our ringgit. Our ringgit is now under valued, so, the cost of things has gone up,”he said.
Mahathir said there was also a complaint that the government has not done anything to help the oil palm growers, but with only two acres of land they cannot expect to be millionaires.
“So we come out with new ideas, we want to do mixed farming, we want to ensure that they have proper advice on how to do modern kinds of farming.
“We must amalgamate the land so that they become big and they can become profitable. We have many ideas on how to change but selling the ideas is a problem,” he added.
Mahathir also pointed out that the country imported billion dollars of food every year, when most of it can be grown here.
“All these things are being worked out by the government. For example, before this we did not know planting pineapple can make you a millionaire until we saw people doing it.
“Recently, I accepted pineapples from Rompin (Pahang), called the Rompines. It is very sweet and does not have that bad taste in the mouth, please buy, it is Malaysian produce. They have already planted some hundreds of acres, even manggis (mangosteen) now being produced,” Mahathir said.
He said the companies are making money because they realise if they plant oil palm, they are going to get into get trouble if the land is not big enough. — Bernama