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Hamzah said that Malaysia's sugar prices are relatively lower than other South East Asian countries. — Reuters picHamzah said that Malaysia's sugar prices are relatively lower than other South East Asian countries. — Reuters picKUALA LUMPUR, March 5 — The public should stop voicing negative views on the recent sugar price hike of increase of 11 sen per kilogramme, minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin has said.

Hamzah said the ministry had prior to the price hike considered various factors, including the profits of wholesalers and retailers, transport costs and other expenses, as well as whether the 11 sen hike would cause an increase in the prices of other goods.

"In our calculations, a 11 sen increase in sugar price is not a big deal, and should not become an issue, because everyone won't be using 1kg of sugar in a month," the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism minister was quoted saying yesterday by local daily Sin Chew Daily

He addded that Malaysia's sugar prices are relatively lower than other South East Asian countries such as Thailand, where it is priced at RM3 per kg.

"This shows that the government would set the related price at the most reasonable levels when fixing prices for goods," he said.

On Thursday, the ministry announced that the new price of coarse granulated white sugar from March 1 onwards is RM2.95 per kg, up from the previous RM2.84 per kg.

The ministry attributed the price hike to the increase in global prices of raw sugar, but said the government is still controlling the price to keep it to the very minimum in comparison to prices in other countries.

The ministry said the last revision of the sugar price was on October 25, 2013.

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