Wednesday, July 24

CMSCI welcomes probe into difference in cement prices between East, Peninsular M’sia

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Photo shows a view of CMS’ Cement Plant at Mambong, Kuching. – File photo

KUCHING: CMS Cement Industries Sdn Bhd (CMSCI) welcomes the request of Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng to probe the difference in cement prices between East Malaysia and Peninsular Malaysia.

Chief executive officer of CMSCI Suhadi Sulaiman, in a statement today said: “We welcome the enquiry for two reasons. Firstly, it will show that the disparity in prices is purely due to the recent aggressive price war which led to industry mergers and acquisitions in Peninsular Malaysia.

“Secondly, an enquiry of this nature will also serve-to-show once and for all that Sarawak is not and never been a cement monopoly.”

He said other industry players were welcomed to set-up-shop but chose not to venture into Sarawak because the initial start-up costs for development of infrastructure and haulage made it non-viable.

“CMSCI has been able to offset and spread these operations costs year-in-year-out by being in operation for over 40 years,” he said.

Suhadi said that CMSCI would cooperate openly and transparently in any enquiry because any enquiry would show that the company operated at the highest levels of business and retail integrity.

“The enquiry will also show that CMSCI has not raised our prices since January 2016. We reaffirm as per our statement last week, CMSCI has no plans to increase our prices any time soon,” he added.

On Sunday, Lim said an investigation was necessary to determine whether the practice of local industrial monopoly in Sarawak resulted in high cement prices in the state.

He added that although the government managed to curb rising cement prices in Peninsular Malaysia last week, the price of the commodity in Sarawak is significantly higher.