KUCHING: A total of 11 Approved Permits (APs) to import sugar have been issued to 11 companies in Sarawak this year.
Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii said the names of these companies were mentioned in a reply during the question and answer session in the recently concluded Dewan Rakyat sitting.
These companies are namely Sunshine Food Manufacture Co. Sdn Bhd, Dahfa Foods Manufacturing Sdn Bhd, Sundrop Fruit Juices Sdn Bhd, KNG LAK (E.M.) Sdn Bhd, Alwi Food & Beverages Industries Sdn Bhd, Ta Yung Food Industries Sdn Bhd, Stampin Confectionery Sdn Bhd, Foodtake Industries Sdn Bhd, Kit Hin Company Sdn Bhd, F & N Sarawak and Teck Lee Seng Coffee Product.
“I welcome the strong efforts by the federal government through the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs in carrying out anti-monopoly actions to promote greater competition in prices and also protect the welfare of the consumers.
“Before this, all the local Sarawak companies have no choice but to purchase their refined sugar from either MSM or CSR at a cost of RM 2.60 or RM 2.70 per kg.
“Now through the efforts of the federal government, these companies and many other that are also applying can import the sugar directly from other sources at an average of RM 1.50 per kg, which help keep their business costs low and avoid increasing the prices of products,” he said in a statement today.
He also mentioned that Malaysian Competition Commission (MyCC), an agency under the Ministry Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs, is part of the Special Inter-ministerial committee chaired by Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali to review monopolies in the country’s services and supply chain across various economic sectors.
Based on Section 10 of Competition Act 2010, he said MyCC has the authority to investigate any companies that misuse any monopoly or dominant position in the market to directly or indirectly impose unfair purchase or selling prices or other unfair trading conditions.
He added so far that MyCC has investigated a few companies on allegations of monopoly.
On top of this, he pointed out that the federal government through the Ministry of Health also has decided to end their concession with Pharmaniaga, which was the sole concessionaire providing logistics and distribution services of medical supplies in our country since 1994 and instead an open tender system will be implemented.
“There is still much more to be done, but the federal government is taking positive steps in addressing the long-standing issue that is very technical in nature and may involve a lot of legal implications and in some cases high compensations due to the lop-sided contract signed by the previous administration,” he said.