PUTRAJAYA: The government stands firm in its decision not to increase the price of sugar despite calls for a price hike by sugar producer MSM Malaysia Holdings Bhd.
Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Hamzah Zainuddin assured the public that there would not be any increase as the global raw sugar price has dropped, currently standing at US$0.17 per pound.
“Why should there be a price increase when the price of global price has decreased?
“Their call to increase the price was simply unfair. I can tell you the sugar producers have been recording a steady profit since the last price revision in March,” he told reporters after ministry’s monthly assembly today.
On March 1, the price of coarse refined white sugar was increased by 11 sen due to an increase in the price of imported raw sugar, going up to RM2.95 per kg. Prior to this, the price of stood at RM2.84 per kg.
Hamzah said the top management of MSM Malaysia including their chief executive officer had met him recently on the matter.
“Nevertheless, I stood firm in the decision not to increase the price. The government would have probably considered their request if the sugar producing companies are faced with major losses.
“But in this case, they have been recording a steady profit. It’s not fair as it is only to increase their profit while burdening the people,” he added.
In a news report last week, Federation of Malaysian Consumers Associations (Fomca) had also expressed concerns over the request to increase the price.
Its vice-president Mohd Yusof Abdul Rahman said it wouldn’t be fair as the consumers were recently faced with an increase.
“Further increase will only result in price hikes of other goods in the market,” he said.