LABUAN – Panic buying by the public and traders has led to shortage of cooking oil at some retail stores, supermarkets and hypermarkets around the duty-free-island here.
Member of Parliament for Labuan, Datuk Rozman Isli noted that some consumers were buying two to three 1.5kg and 5kg bottles of cooking oil at one time.
“The fact is, there is no shortage of bottled cooking oil in the country, but there is panic buying here over the last two weeks.
“We were told, every shipment of cooking oil that arrived at the retailers sold out within one hour because consumers are lining up to buy as many as they can,” he said after visiting Bataras Hypermarket here.
Rozman who is also Labuan Corporation chairman urged consumers to calm down and avoid panic buying to help stabilise the supply.
“We also hope the wholesaler would increase volume of supply into the island due to the higher demand particularly in conjunction with Chinese New Year, and put an end to this issue,” he said.
Meanwhile, a consumer, Danial Faiz Abdullah, 38, said he was disappointed that the cooking oil brand he wanted could not be found in the several stores he went to.
A banana fritters seller, Mariam Baharuddin, 47, from Kg Sg Buton, lamented that economy pack-cooking oil was always unavailable in certain supermarkets and grocery stores.
“I still have supplies to last me for a few more days; once they are finished I may have to stop business for a while,” she said.
Another trader, Alimah Abu Bakar, said hawkers, particularly those selling cookies, cakes and fried food depend on packet cooking oil, which allowed them to make better profit as it is much cheaper.
“We hope there will be ample supply of packet cooking oil in supermarkets and grocery shops. Business now is very competitive and if such essential items are limited, small-time business operators like us are the ones most affected,” she said. – BERNAMA