PAPAR: The study on price stabilisation of goods in Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan will take six months and the report will be presented at the Stabilisation Committee Meeting in August this year.

Domestic Trade and Cost of Living (KPDN) Minister Datuk Armizan Mohd Ali said Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) and Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) which have been tasked with conducting the study have submitted their initial proposal papers on April 19.

Armizan said the study to find out why some essential goods cost more in Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan compared to Peninsular Malaysia, is being conducted in collaboration with the National Action Council on Cost of Living (NACCOL).

NACCOL, chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof, is a committee established by KPDN to stabilise prices in Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan.

“This study will identify the current situation and issues regarding the price difference of essential goods in Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan. It will examine price dynamics and supply chains,“ he told reporters after an Aidilfitri celebration organised by Papar parliamentary and Kawang state constituencies which was attended by Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor here today.

Armizan said the study would involve five main areas in Sabah and Labuan, including Kudat, the west coast, the interior, Sandakan, Tawau and Labuan.

In Sarawak, it will involve three northern regions, namely Miri, Bintulu, Limbang, four regions in Sibu, Sarikei, Mukah and Kapit, as well as five regions in western Sarawak, namely Kuching, Kota Samarahan, Serian, Sri Aman and Betong.

“This study is important as a long-term measure to formulate strategies and action plans to stabilise the prices of selected essential goods.

“The study findings will be shared with the governments of Sabah and Sarawak, as well as the Federal Territories Development Department, he said, adding that this is crucial as price issues are closely linked to food security and supply, both domestic and imported.

He hoped the study findings would help the state governments plan better land use for agriculture, livestock and overall food security.

“Having local food sources can reduce dependence on food from Peninsular Malaysia and lower logistic costs,” he added.