KOTA BHARU: The Rahmah Rice Sales programme, which offers imported rice at a discounted price, is seen as an alternative for consumers to reduce their dependence on locally sourced rice.

Kampung Limbat village head Bukhari Daud, 67, said the move to include imported rice in the Rahmah Sales programme allows people to enjoy the rice at a more affordable price.

“The people of Kelantan are quite used to consuming imported rice from Thailand. So, selling imported rice at a lower price will bring some relief to us and show that the government is trying to address the issue.

“We hope this programme can be held for a longer period until the supply of local rice is restored,” he told Bernama today.

A consumer, Norhazirah Ismail, 35, said the unavailability of local rice in the market has put pressure on the people.

“We have to rely on imported rice, which is more expensive, to feed our family. So the discounted price offered for imported rice at the Rahmah sales programme will help ease the burden of the B40 group like us,” she said.

Norhazirah added that she never missed the opportunity to visit all Rahmah Sales programmes organised by the Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Ministry (KPDN), which offered many discounts for essential goods.

She also said that the Rahmah Rice Sales proved the government’s concern over the people’s struggle and expressed hope that they would find ways to address the local rice shortage.

When winding up the debate for KPDN on the Mid-Term Review of the 12th Malaysia Plan at the Dewan Rakyat yesterday, Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Deputy Minister Fuziah Salleh said the government would roll out the Rahmah Rice Sales today.

She said the programme aims to help lighten the burden of the people affected by the price hike of imported rice as well as the absence of local rice. - Bernama