Two days ago, Putrajaya announced that all exports of surgical masks will be stopped and the ceiling price for the three-ply variant will be raised.
The new ceiling price for the three-ply face mask would be RM2 per unit, up from the original price of RM0.80.
Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Alexander Nanta Linggi claimed the increase was due to high production costs and to encourage local manufacturers to produce more face masks.
This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.
The Pakatan Harapan (PH) presidential council has been vocal about the price hike, claiming it to be excessive.
The price hike of more than double does not help to calm anxious Malaysians nor address the actual issue of insufficient supplies, they claim.
Due to this backlash, Senior Minister (Defence) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaacob has announced that the government will be meeting tomorrow to revise the price of the 3-ply face mask again.
The price of the ceiling mask set RM2 is too high, so the prime minister did not agree and tomorrow we will discuss the matter (and) if possible to be lowered to the previous price.Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaacob
It is difficult for the average Malaysian to buy face masks now due to the shortage of stock in most major retailers and pharmacies.
The government will also be importing 10 million face masks from China to meet the domestic demand. However, priority of the masks will be distributed to frontline workers first, such as healthcare personnel and the Royal Malaysian Police force.
The balance will then be supplied to the public.
Anne is an advocate of sustainable living and the circular economy, and has managed to mum-nag the team into using reusable containers to tapau food. She is also a proud parent of 4 cats and 1 rabbit.