KUALA LUMPUR: There should be further examination to determine whether the markedly higher cement prices in Sarawak compared to Peninsular Malaysia is caused by monopolistic practices of the state’s industry players.
Cement according to Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng is a basic building material and a drastic price increase will inevitably feed into the economy negatively and eventually hurt consumers.
As for in Peninsular, the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail he said, has proven the government’s commitment to keeping living costs faced by Malaysians at a reasonable level.
“This has been done by keeping cement prices in check after the government met with cement industry players,” he said in a statement here yesterday.
This success immediately addressed concerns over a possible 40 per cent hike in cement prices across Peninsular Malaysia as reported by the media in the past week, alleviating fears that the country’s major cement producers were abusing their market power to raise cement prices unfairly.
Inflation for consumers remains low and stable according to him, adding that the consumer price index for April 2019 increased by only 0.2 per cent, which was the same as for March 2019. — Bernama