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KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 31, 2015:

The Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry (MOA) has abolished the subsidy for Super Tempatan 15% broken (ST15) rice following too much leakage in the programme.

MOA Paddy and Rice Industry Division secretary Samsuddin Ismail in a statement today said research found that among the problems which occurred was the rice meant for low-income Malaysians were also bought by non-Malaysians.

“There have also been reports of places where the supply was insufficient while in other places there was too much supply,” he said.

He said although the ministry had taken various actions including terminating the licences of the parties involved, the problem still persisted.

“Since two months ago, we have been looking for the best new mechanism which will ensure that the assistance given will go to the targeted groups and really benefit the very poor people.”

Samsuddin said the distribution of ST15 rice which began in 2008 was a temporary programme by the government to ensure the very poor could afford to buy rice at the lowest price.

The ST15 rice is local rice with 15% broken rice whose quality is slightly lower compared with local rice, usually bought by the majority of consumers, which is ST5 with 5% broken rice.

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