KUCHING, Dec 10: The Approved Permit (AP) system to import sugar should be abolished so every Malaysian can enjoy lower sugar prices.
Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) Stakan branch chairman Sim Kiang Chiok opined it should be that way, instead of only giving APs to 11 holders.
Previously, sugar imports were monopolised by two companies in Malaya, and approved by the previous Barisan Nasional government.
“However, now that Malaysia is under the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government, Chong Chieng Jen as the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs deputy minister should have stopped the monopoly on import of sugar by simply abolishing the requirements of AP to import sugar and allowing free import by all Malaysians.
“Why is Chong still using the previous government’s system in this supposedly New Malaysia? The monopoly will be abolished only when all Malaysian are free to import sugar and not by issuing more APs as this would give an unfair advantage to AP holders only and not to the people,” Sim argued in a statement today.
Calling it an unfair policy and practice, he opined everyone should be free to buy sugar from the world market and to enjoy the price of RM1.50 per kg instead of RM2.50 per kg.
Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii recently announced the names of the 11 sugar AP holders in Sarawak.
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.
Sim questioned if the prices of their company’s finished products were being reduced, since the sugar AP allows them to purchase sugar at lower prices.
“Chong said these food and beverages manufacturers with the APs to import sugar are not required to reduce the price of the finished product. Isn’t this unfair to other manufacturers and the public in general? The manufacturers with AP will have the advantage of lower cost and reap more profit if they don’t reduce the price of their manufactured products,” Sim argued.
He also lamented that while Chong claimed the AP is open to all manufacturers to apply for, some will be permitted to import less while others will get more.
“How does Chong and his ministry watch (sic) the 11 AP holders from gaining quick profit by selling the imported sugar instead of using it for the manufacturing use?” Sim asked.
Meanwhile, he also questioned why all the 11 AP holders are from Kuching area.
“Does that mean those in other towns in Sarawak do not qualify? Chong has not answered these questions, but said all are allowed to apply.
“This clearly shows the PH government is not caring in helping the people to reduce cost of living,” Sim asserted. — DayakDaily