Saturday, August 15

SUPP: AP policy sugar ‘unfair practice’

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Sim Kiang Chiok

KUCHING: A Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) man is calling the federal government to abolish  Approved Permit (AP) for sugar import contributing to the high price of the commodity.

“AP for sugar should be abolished – let the people enjoy the lower price of sugar to help reduce their cost of living.

“AP policy is an unfair practice for the rest of the people, who have to buy sugar at higher prices.

“This shows that the federal government is not caring and doesn’t want to help reduce the cost of living,” said SUPP Stakan chairman Sim Kiang Chiok in a statement yesterday, debating APs awarded to 11 sugar importing companies in Sarawak, which had been revealed by Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii in a statement on Friday.

They are Sunshine Food Manufacture Co Sdn Bhd, Dahfa Foods Manufacturing Sdn Bhd, Sundrop Fruit Juices Sdn Bhd, KNG LAK (EM) 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.

In his remarks, Dr Yii said: “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 protect the welfare of consumers.

“Before this, all local Sarawak companies had no choice but to purchase refined sugar from either MSM Sugar Refinery Sdn Bhd or Central Sugar Refineries Sdn Bhd (both Peninsula-based) at RM2.60 or RM2.70 per kilogramme.

“Now through efforts by the federal government, these companies and many others that are also applying, can import sugar directly from other sources at an average (price) of RM1.50 per kilogramme, which helps keep their business costs low and avoid the prices of products from increasing.”

Adding on, Sim questioned whether prices of the finished products from the 11 AP-awarded companies had been reduced and why only 11 companies in Kuching area obtained the permit and not from other towns in Sarawak.

Sim said the ‘Shared Prosperity’ concept preached by the present federal government is not being practised as higher costs is passed on to the people except the 11 AP holders.