JOHOR BAHRU: The Johor state Paddy and Rice Regulation agency denied claims that a supermarket in a shopping complex at Permas Jaya here was hoarding local rice and selling it to foreigners.

The agency’s director Mohd Alieff Sabeh clarified that after carrying out an investigation at the said location, the agency found no basis for such claims and could be just a misunderstanding.

Mohd Alieff said a Facebook account holder had alleged that the supermarket had taken out local rice from the store and sold it to foreigners but such a claim was not true.

“From investigations carried out by officers from the agency at the alleged supermarket, there was no local rice at the supermarket. There were only three rice packets that were torn.

“During inspection, there was one bag of rice that was not torn, but sandwiched between two torn bags of rice and incidentally a group of foreigners who were at the location asked if there was any rice for sale. Upon finding the bag, they took it to the counter,” he said when asked to comment about the allegation and the video clip that went viral.

He was speaking to reporters after visiting the Maslee Supermarket together with Pasir Gudang Member of Parliament Hassan Abdul Karim and the Johor Ministry of Domestic Trade and Cost of Living (KPDN).

Last Saturday, a woman through her Facebook account had claimed that a Nepalese worker from the supermarket had taken out a bag of local rice from the store and given it to another Nepalese.

Meanwhile, Mohd Alieff added that so far there has been no issues of hoarding local rice and advised supermarkets and hypermarkets in Johor to report to the agency if their premises had a shortage of supply for local rice.

He added that such information would be necessary to send local rice to the respective destinations as Johor will be provided an additional supply of 60 metric tonnes of local rice, in addition to the 100 metric tonnes received earlier.

Meanwhile, Hassan denied claims that there was a shortage of controlled items in Pasir Gudang.

He added that such rumours would cause unnecessary panicking among the people and result in all kinds of problems. - Bernama

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