Rumours of a further hike in rice price started mongering around even before the 12th General Election.
The market talk gathered more heat in the last few days and it eventually came out in the headline today that our rice is gonna to be priceier.
It instantly cast a chill over the market, sending consumers at large to a state of fret.
Coupled with the price talk was a widespread scare of a possible scarcity of supplies in the market. This imbalance position is definitely going to exert pressure on pricing.
Fortunately rice is a controlled item in Malaysia. This policy assures rakyat that the market price of rice is being capped by the government for the well-being of the rakyat.
But the price surge is not confined to Malaysia - it is a global phenomenon. Imposition of control implies that our government has got to fork out to subsidise for the price to stay put.
The Federal Government is presently on deficit. With the surging rice price globally, extra burden is going to build up on the nation's coffers.
It is time again for us to review our policy on self-sufficiency on rice. Our vast land resources are truly our nation's most valuable assets. Seriously, they ought to be put to better use.