KUCHING: Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) Stakan banch chief Sim Kiang Chiok has called upon Deputy Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Chong Chieng Jen to reveal the names of sugar importers in Sarawak who have the approved permits (APs).
According to Sim, it has been few months since Chong – who is also Pakatan Harapan (PH) Sarawak chief and Democratic Action Party (DAP) Sarawak chairman – had publicly stated that there were eight importers who had obtained such permits.
So far, only one AP holder has been publicly announced.
“There must be something seriously inappropriate that is holding back the publication of the names (of the sugar importers with APs). Even with just the seven importers on the list, Chong does not even dare to announce their names.
“Where is their clean and transparent government that that DAP is committed to?” said Sim yesterday.
According to Sim, the SUPP is not against the liberalisation of sugar imports via the issuance of more licences set to reduce costs, but it is more concerned about the benefits of this initiative to the people on the ground.
“We need to be satisfied that the all the new importers of sugar are transferring the savings from the cheaper cost of sugar to their end-products, so that we the public would enjoy the lower prices and able to deal with higher cost of living. Are these companies making higher profits without reducing the prices even with the lower cost of sugar?
“Why can’t sugar imports be free from any licensing so that all Malaysian could enjoy lower costs to help them (deal) with higher cost of living? How is the ministry going to satisfy the public that these sugar importers are not going to import and then sell (sugar) to the public for quick profits, rather than for their own production use?” he argued.
Sim hoped that Chong would answer these questions as soon as possible to avoid any negative perception against the running of the federal government under PH, ‘which is supposed to clean, transparent and accountable’.