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KUCHING, July 11: The Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry (KPDNHEP) received four more sugar import permit applications from Sarawakian food and beverage (F&B) manufacturers.
Its deputy minister Chong Chieng Jen, in a statement today, encouraged more local F&B manufacturers to apply for the import permit.
This was the ministry’s policy to liberalise the sugar supply in the state with the the view of helping to reduce cost of production for their products.
“For the application of the sugar import permits, any F&B manufacturer simply needs to write to the ministry with information on the amount of sugar required annually for its production,” he said.
Chong added that this was in contrast to allegations by certain quarters of cronyism by his ministry in the granting of sugar import permits.
He explained that previously, local F&B manufacturers were compelled to buy sugar from only two sugar refineries in Malaysia, namely MSM Malaysia Holdings Bhd (MSM) and Central Sugar Refinery Sdn Bhd (CSR).
“At the moment, the price of sugar supplied by sugar refineries in Thailand is less than RM2 per kg (inclusive of transport) while the price of sugar supplied by the two refiners in Malaysia to Sarawak F&B manufacturers is approximately RM2.70 per kg.
“As such, huge savings can be achieved by the Sarawak F&B manufacturers with the grant of the sugar import permits,” the Stampin MP said.
As such, he regretted any attempt to smear and defame him on this liberalisation policy of the new Pakatan Harapan government.
As for threats by certain quarters to lodge a report with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) suggesting that Chong could have received kick-backs from the new liberalisation policy, he said critics were free to do whatever they wish.
“However, if they genuinely want to know who the recipients are, the proper channel is to get any MPs to submit a question in Parliament,” Chong continued. — DayakDaily