CMSCI welcomes probe after Finance Minister alleges cement monopoly in state

Silhouettes of workers on a construction site. — DayakDaily.com file pic. // Photo: Pixabay

KUCHING, June 24: CMS Cement Industries Sdn Bhd (CMSCI), welcomes the request by Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng for authorities to investigate the difference in cement prices between East Malaysia and West Malaysia.

CMSCI Chief Executive Officer Suhadi Sulaiman in a statement today explained that the disparity in the prices of cement between the two regions were purely due to the recent aggressive price war which had led to industry mergers and acquisitions in the peninsula.

Secondly, he said, an enquiry of this nature would also serve to show once and for all that Sarawak has not been and never has been a cement monopoly.

“Other industry players are welcome to set up shop but choose not to venture into Sarawak because the initial start-up costs for development of infrastructure and haulage make it non-viable.

“CMSCI has been able to offset and spread these operations costs year-in-year-out by being in operation for over 40 years.

“CMSCI will cooperate openly and transparently with any enquiry because any enquiry will show that we operate at the highest levels of business and retail integrity. The enquiry will also show that CMSCI has not raised our prices since January 2016 yet we have improved our supply, distribution and logistics efficiencies.

“We reaffirm as per our statement last week, CMSCI has no plans to increase our prices any time soon,” said Suhadi.

Lim yesterday in a statement urged the authorities to investigate Sarawak’s high price of cement allegedly caused by monopoly in the local industry.

He said although the federal government managed to curb rising cement prices in Peninsular Malaysia last week, the price of the commodity in Sarawak is significantly higher.

“Cement is a basic building material. Any substantial increase in cement prices will be redistributed into the economy.

“This will then affect the buying power of consumers,” said Lim. — DayakDaily