People have resorted to stealing fish and vegetables from hypermarkets like Mydin, due to the hardships faced during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, it was recently revealed.

Speaking at a recent virtual press conference organised by trade group Industries Unite (IU), Mydin managing director Ameer Ali Mydin said this is unlike the previous scenario, where people often shoplifted high-value items, such as televisions.

"Thefts in hypermarkets like Mydin have gone up. People are stealing more. But unfortunately, they are not stealing high-value items.

"Those days, people came and stole televisions. They steal speakers. They steal high-value items because they want to sell," he said.

"But now the thieves are stealing ikan kembung (mackerels). It's sad," The Straits Times quoted Ameer saying.

According to Ameer, who is also the co-founder of IU, the sales of instant noodles at his hypermarket chain has also gone up.

"The sales of (instant) noodles have skyrocketed. Very, very high. Do you think this is because the people are too lazy to cook? No, it's because people cannot afford to buy anything else.

"Noodles are the cheapest way to fill your stomach. Is that how we want people to fill their stomachs? It's very sad," he was quoted.

To do its part in helping the needy, Mydin has rolled out an initiative and over 5,000 requests were received within 24 hours, he added.

Malaysia's unemployment rate hit 5.3 percent last year - the highest in three decades, while the number hovered around 4.6 percent just before the third full lockdown was imposed early this year.

Countless businesses have folded since lockdown measures were imposed to contain the pandemic last year.

Despite these measures, the number of COVID-19 cases in the country refuse to go down, with 7,097 cases, and 91 deaths reported in the country up until yesterday.

There have been 799,790 confirmed COVID-19 cases, and 5,768 deaths from the coronavirus disease in the country, so far.

Source: The Straits Times
Photo source: Astro Awani