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The Star Online: Nation

Kangkung just a general example, says PM

Posted: 17 Jan 2014 08:00 AM PST

KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak used kangkung as an example of items which have reduced in price as the vegetable is widely consumed by Malaysians.

"I like to eat kangkung, you all like to eat kangkung. As such, I gave an example which everybody eats. If I use quail as an example, only certain people eat it.

"The example should not be ridiculed by anybody because I gave the example on the principle of supply and demand, which decides the prices of some of the food commodities that are not subject to price controls," Bernama reported him as saying at a dinner organised by the Malaysian Indian Muslim Congress on Thursday.

Najib said the vegetable was only one example of food items used by the public, which he used in his speech in Kemaman, Terengganu on Jan 12.

Netizens picked up on his remark and the humble vegetable, also known as water spinach, soon became a trending topic as well as the butt of many jokes and gimmicks.

Popular it may be in cyberspace and social media, it isn't the best selling vegetable despite its cheaper price.

Point of interest: Malaysians making fun of the kangkung comment on T-shirts.

Coffee outlet Artisan Coffee, in Petaling Jaya, Selangor, offered a cup of coffee to customers in exchange for a bundle of the vegetable yesterday.

Some wet markets experienced good sales but at hypermarkets, that was not the case.

A vegetable vendor at the SS2 wet market said his stock of kangkung was sold out in the morning, and confirmed that the price of the vegetable had come down.

"Previously, we charged RM2 per 200g of kangkung. It is now 400g for the same price," he added.

However, it was a different scenario at the hypermarkets. At the AEON in 1-Utama, piles of kangkung were still available around noon at RM1.20 for 300g.

Housewife Mei Ling, 53, said she preferred other vegetables for her family.

"I do not consume kangkung because it is known to have some health effects.

"It does not matter to me if the price has been reduced," she said, while adding that she preferred to buy broccoli, cabbages and organic greens.

Another customer, who did not want to be named, said she did not like kangkung because it had a cooling effect.

For Y.P. Ng, 63, a retiree, said kangkung was a very small part of his diet.

"Thus the price drop does not affect me," he said

Restaurant manager Kelly Ow, 32, said sales of their kangkung belacan dish had not improved despite the drop in the vegetable's price.

"The dish was not highly popular to start with, and even now many customers prefer other vegetables," she added.

PAC to vet four more ministries

Posted: 17 Jan 2014 08:00 AM PST

JOHOR BARU: The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) will look into the expenses of another four ministries soon.

It would start next week with the ministries of Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing, PAC chairman Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed said.

This will be followed by the National Film Development Corporation Malaysia (Finas) under the Communications and Multimedia Ministry.

"Next month, the PAC will examine the Education Ministry again on expenses spent on school security as well as the police force on their asset management where we will focus on the loss of weapons issue," he said during the Thaipusam celebrations at the Sri Subramaniam temple in Jalan Kolam Air here yesterday.

On a separate matter, the Pulai MP said he hoped that Malaysians would not get distracted by their differences but embrace them instead.

"Malaysia is a democratic and multicultural society. We should not cross the line of other people's religion, and learn to show respect to each other," he said.

He added that leaders should take time to visit the different places of worship, especially during festivals such as Thaipusam, so that they could observe for themselves the rituals and practices of other devotees.

Car buyers holding out for a hybrid

Posted: 17 Jan 2014 08:00 AM PST

PETALING JAYA: It's close to the Chinese New Year and many in the community will usually shop for a new set of wheels.

But this time, many are holding their purchases and bookings what with the new National Automotive Policy set to be unveiled on Monday.

A check at various car showrooms yesterday showed people "window shopping" with the announcement in mind. First-time car buyer Ahmad Faizuddin Abu Bakar, 26, said that he was looking to purchase a hybrid car but will wait as the policy is expected to involve hybrid and environmentally-friendly vehicles.

"There have been a lot of offers from car dealers especially during the Chinese New Year season but I think I will wait before deciding.

"I hope the Government will give some incentives or exemptions for hybrids and electric cars," he said at the Nissan showroom in SS19.

Another prospective car buyer, Sherrina Salleh, 34, said a hybrid's spare parts are much more expensive compared to conventional ones. "I have always wanted a compact car which is fuel efficient and the best choice for me is to get a hybrid car. It will be better if there were more incentives for those who want to buy hybrid cars," she said.

A Honda sales adviser said hybrid cars were becoming increasingly popular and lots of enquiries were being received. "Most of them are frequent travellers and they choose hybrid models as they are more environmentally friendly and fuel efficient," he said.

Proton sales adviser Hazimi Omar said that sales of cars have been positive so far. "The most popular model for our branch is the Saga FLX because of its low price but we also have quite a large number of orders for the Exora model from those with larger families,'' he said.

Among others, the NAP is expected to re-introduce the end-of-life vehicle policy, which was scrapped in 2009.

It is also expected to attract more foreign direct investments into the auto industry by promoting energy-efficient vehicles.

The NAP is also expected to contain the roadmap to place Malaysia as the hub for Energy Efficient Vehicles (EEV).


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