I am quite certain that the shortage of sugar is artificially created. This is perhaps a response to the government requiring all those who sell sugar and cooking oil to get an license. Apparently, this requirement is because sugar and other essential items are controlled items and hence those who sell it must be ‘controlled’. At this rate, we will soon have to apply for separate license to sell separate things.. And the civil service will have to keep on employing more civil servants to put up more red tapes and requirements.
It is not so much of a hassle (even though it can still be a hassle depending on the Napoleons you are dealing with) for those in urban areas to obtain a license to sell sugar. BUt what about those retailers in rural areas?
Imposing licensing requirement is not the way to control hoarding. To check which retailers may be hoarding, perhaps, the enforcement officers can check the sale records of sugar importers and wholesalers, to see which retailers have suddenly purchased a big lot of sugar compared with their purchasing patterns in the past. To ask the importers and wholesalers to keep good sale record is perhaps more effective than licensing all the small retailers.
Subsidies distort markets, and this is one clear example of why subsidy of certain essential foodstuff should be slowly phased out. But this must be done gradually and there must be good monitoring of traders and hawkers to prevent them from taking advantage of the situation and raise their prices.
A cup of nescafe used to cost 1.20 in PJ just a few years back (coffee shop price, not cafe), now it is 1.70 , an increase of 42% in just a few years. Not to mention fried kwai Teow, Wan tan mee , nasi lemak and so on.
I think consumers must be more aware of their rights. When sugar goes up ten cents and a cup of coffee also goes up ten cents, there is a clear case of profiteering. We should boycott the coffee shop that is raising the price. We cannot depend much on enforcement , especially when there are so much of corruption in the country. The consumers have to depend more on themselves. But this is easier said than carried out. Malaysians are a Kiahsu lot and many of them are selfish and would encourage you to participate in a boycott that they themselves will not take part.
On the subject of sugar, it is time that we take in less sugar. Unlike salt which is essential to our body functions, we do not really need sugar. If we are eating carbohydrates like rice, wheat, bread, oats and so on, we are already taking more them enough for energy requirements.
I am now quite used to drinking coffee without sugar. I also do not add sugar to red tea.
Children should be taught to drink less carbonated drinks like Coke; a can of this type of drink can contain up to 7 teaspoons of sugar.. Besides straining our pancreas to produce insulin after taking so much of sugar, it also add calories and make us obese. So children should be taught to drink water, tea and so on and less Coke, sarsi, lemonades and so on.