KUCHING, Aug 9: Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) Stakan branch hopes that the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs can open up sugar importation instead of continuing the Approved Permit (AP) system.
Its branch chairman Sim Kiang Chiok thus urged Deputy Minister Chong Chieng Jen to explain why Malaysians needed to have licences to import sugar.
“Why can’t sugar import be free from any licence so that all Malaysians will enjoy lower cost to help them with cost of living?” he questioned.
On the seven food and beverage manufacturers identified for sugar import APs by the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government, Sim again demanded Chong, who is Sarawak PH chief, to reveal their identities.
“It has been a few months but the Deputy Minister has not announced the AP name list of the sugar importer as yet, and there must be something seriously inappropriate that is holding back the release of the names,” he added.
“Even just seven approved sugar importers, YB Chong does not even dare to announce their names, so where is their clean and transparent government that DAP is committed to?” he asked.
Sim pointed out that Chong recently spoke to the relevant industry players in Sabah where he had also mentioned about issuing of AP for import of sugar.
“I believe it will eventually be the same as in Sarawak where he would announce the numbers of AP issued and the names of the importer will be withheld,” he opined.
Sim further emphasised t that SUPP is not against the liberalisation of the import of sugar with issuance of more licences to reduce the cost of the producers.
“However, we would like to know where are the benefits to the raykat as we need to be satisfied that all the new importers of sugar are transferring the saving from the cheaper cost of sugar to their end-product so that we, the public will enjoy the lower price to help us to lower our cost living,” he said.
He also questioned whether these companies with APs would just make higher profit without reducing the price of products even though they can import sugar at a lower price.— DayakDaily