A newly-created government taskforce committee today (May 22) said that they need 6 more months to explain the rising prices of milk powder in Singapore. The committee led by Senior Minister of State, Koh Poh Koon, told the media he needs until the end of the year to explain:
“We will facilitate imports of more formula milk options and tighten regulations on labelling and advertising, among other measures, to address the rising prices of formula milk by the end of the year. ”
Minister Koh Poh Koon also said that the government will spend the next five years “educating” parents nutritional needs for children:
“The Health Promotion Board will launch a five-year public education campaign on the nutritional needs of children in the next two weeks.”
Another member of the government committee is PAP MP Rahayu Mahzam, who said that Singapore parents are also to be blamed for increasing milk powder prices:
“Adding that the issue goes beyond controlling advertising and prices. It is also important to deal with concerns and to change the mindsets of parents who will almost always be willing to pay a premium to give their children an edge.”
Till date, there is no official explanation from the government why milk powder of the same grade cost more than twice the amount in Singapore over other countries like Australia and Malaysia. The Competition Commission dodged the question and blamed Singaporeans for preferring more expensive brands, while Senior Minister Koh Poh Koon and Minister Josephine Teo told Singapore parents to “buy the cheapest one”.