Residents in the Kota Bharu district who had faced a shortage of sugar last week can heave a sigh of relief after sugar supply to the area was restored.

A grocery wholesaler and retailer, Ahmad Najmi Mohd Ashari, 36, from Tanjung Chat here, said he began receiving his sugar supply in stages since May 1.

He said even though he received only limited supply of sugar from the suppliers, he was grateful to be able to provide the necessary items to customers as sugar was in high demand.

“Previously, I was able to obtain more that 4,000 kilogrames (kg) of sugar which could last a week. However, since the shortage of sugar supply and after the resumption of supplies on Monday, I only received about 2,500 kg of sugar.

“As the supplies are also limited, I now have to limit my customers to buying between two to three kilogrammes only and this too depends on the current supply which is sold at a price of RM2.85 per kg,” he said when met by Bernama at his grocery store in Tanjung Chat today.

He also said he was grateful to the government, especially the Kelantan branch of the Ministry of Trade and Cost of Living (KPDN), for being aware of the issues faced by the people and successfully resolving them in a short period of time.

Restaurant operator Rodiah Ismail, 44, who hails from Kampung Banggol, said her business suffered last week following sugar shortage as she uses it in her food and drinks.

“During that period, I was only able to survive with whatever sugar I had in stock and was forced to reduce its usage in the food and drinks served.

“However, now I am relieved as it is easy to get my sugar supply at grocery stores although there is a two kilogramme quota for each customer,” she said.

Meanwhile, consumer Kamarul Zaman Wan Mohamad, 60, from Kampung Chat said last week he was trying to find sugar in more than 10 grocery shops but was not successful.

“During the period (sugar shortage), I was forced to use condensed milk as a replacement especially to sweeten drinks and such. However, since yesterday we have been able to buy sugar easily in several grocery shops in the district.

“I hope this issue of sugar shortage will not recur in future since it is (sugar) an essential item for our everyday routine,” he said.

The media had reported that Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Minister Datuk Seri Salahuddin Ayub as saying the disruption of sugar supply in the East Coast had been restored.

The report said the problem was attributed to the temporary closure of MSM Malaysia Holdings Bhd’s sugar mills in Johor as well as Perai, Penang in conjunction with the Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebration and these factories had resumed operations on April 25.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency