It is "not an easy decision" for Malaysia to impose the export ban on chickens, Malaysia's Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said on Thursday (June 2) during his trip to Singapore, Bernama reported.
Working closely with poultry producers in Malaysia
Speaking to reporters, he said, "We value our bilateral relations with Singapore. So we hope that this is a very temporary measure until the supply and price situation in Malaysia is stabilised."
Khairy, whose four-day trip in Singapore as Lee Kuan Yew Exchange Fellow ends on Friday (June 3), was responding to a question on the effectiveness of the export ban in controlling prices and stabilising the poultry supply.
He further said that Malaysia is in "a very difficult situation given supply chain issues" brought about by "feed and climate change issues", which have "coalesced into a situation where there is a shortage in supply and inevitably leading to the high prices in Malaysia".
"While countries obviously will look to securing their own food requirements, we are also well aware that we have a responsibility as exporters to our neighbours including Singapore," he added.
Nevertheless, he said the Malaysian authorities are "working together very closely with poultry producers" to ensure they can increase output.
He added that once these are achieved, they hope to resume poultry exports including to Singapore.
In response to a question if the process would take at least a few more months, he said he hopes not.
Previously, Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob had announced the export ban on 3.6 million chickens in an effort to address the country's shortage of poultry supply.
The ban was part of a series of measures by Malaysia that aims to ease domestic price increases due to a recent jump in global food prices, partly brought about by the war in Ukraine.
In a statement issued on June 1, the Malaysian government reiterated that its export ban includes not only live poultry, but also whole carcasses, chilled and frozen meat, as well as chicken-based products, such as nuggets, patties and sausages.
Met with PM Lee and other ministers
While he was in Singapore, the Malaysian minister met with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, where they reviewed each country's Covid strategies, and discussed developments in the healthcare sector and areas where both countries can strengthen bilateral cooperation.Khairy also met Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat, Minister for Communications and Information Josephine Teo and Minister of Finance Lawrence Wong.
Top image via Khairy Jamaluddin/Facebook