Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi suggested the suspension of oil futures trading to curb the soaring prices of other commodities.
Some countries such as Japan have taken the lead in instituting certain bold measures towards curbing the steep rise in prices, he said at the opening of the 22nd Asia Pacific Roundtable organised by the Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ISIS) Malaysia and Asean ISIS here.
He, however said, such measures would require negotiation and agreement at the international level.
The suggestion for a possible suspension of trading of oil in the futures market has been put forward to the international community for examination as crude oil price has become a major contributor to the soaring prices of other commodities such as crude palm oil, rubber and tin.
Such a measure is expected to prevent the speculative buying on the market.
Abdullah said the escalating food, fuel and commodity prices were placing enormous burden especially on the poor.
Abdullah said the price of rice — the staple food of Asians — had gone up 76 per cent in the five months from December last year to April this year, while overall food prices had risen 83 per cent in the last three years and oil prices had quadrupled during the last six years.
Hence, he said the Asean Plus Three (the 10 Asean countries and China, Japan and South Korea) could also do its part by building up the Asean Food Security Reserve as it does not have adequate stocks currently to effectively stabilise the prices and supply of rice among the members.