GEORGE TOW- Prices of vegetables have almost tripled due to bad weather.
Federation of Vegetable Sellers Association president Tan Ban Ben said the continuous wet weather over the past two weeks had affected their growth.
For example, lady's finger which was previously RM6 per kg is now RM12. Scallions have gone up from RM3 to RM12 per kg.
However, Tan said the prices were expected to return to normal in two weeks time after the weather improves.
Earlier, Consumers' Association of Penang (CAP) president S.M. Mohamed Idris called on the Domestic Trade, Co-Operatives and Consumerism Ministry and Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority to take immediate steps to bring down the prices of vegetables.
"They need to investigate the price increase as average income earners will be badly affected by escalating prices of goods," said Idris in a statement.
Domestic Trade, Co-Operatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Hasan Malek said they would be tough on traders who drove up their prices unreasonably.
"We will act if there is a sudden increase in prices," said Hasan during the launching of the 500th Tukar grocery store programme in Pulau Betong.
In Johor Baru, state Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Department director Ayub Abd Rahman said prices of prawns and white pomfret would usually go up come the Lunar New Year.
Apart from high demand from consumers, the monsoon season which was expected to last until next month would also contribute to the high prices, he said.
"The average selling price of white medium-sized prawns in Johor on Sunday was RM50 per kg. It can go up to RM100 per kg a few days before Chinese New Year," Ayub said.
He said the average price for pomfret in the state on Sunday was RM20 per kg and RM18 per kg yesterday, but the price could go up to RM50 per kg for the Chinese New Year.
"Prices of prawns and pomfret in Johor Baru are slightly higher than in other parts of the country as Singaporeans will also cross over to buy the two items for their dinner," he added.