Malaysian government turns down call to withdraw sugar import permits

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After Malaysia’s Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP) has approved eight permits to food and beverage (F&B) manufacturers to import sugar from other countries, MSM Malaysia Holdings Bhd and Central Sugar Refinery Sdn Bhd alleged that approval of the import permits was made without fully understanding the circumstances of the industry. Also, there was a demand to reconsider the recent decision.

Deputy Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Chong Chieng Jen, said, “The government will not reconsider its decision to grant sugar import permits to F&B manufacturers, this is because competition in the sugar industry will do more good for the country, business sector, and consumers at large.”

He claims, so far, the two sugar refiners, MSM Malaysia Holdings Bhd (MSM) and Central Sugar Refinery Sdn Bhd (CSR), have enjoyed the monopolistic control over the sale and supply of sugar in the domestic market.

Minister said the import permits would help to diminish the cost of production at the factories.

Jen, while addressing the press conference, had earlier stated, “Despite the low international sugar price, the F&B manufacturers have had to pay about RM2.60 to RM2.70 per kg from the local sugar refineries. Whereas at present the international sugar price is in the range of RM1.40 per kg for raw sugar, while for refined sugar, it is RM1.80 per kg”.

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