PUTRAJAYA, Aug 18 — The Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry will investigate if there has been any abuse of the approved permits (AP) for the import of flour products and sugar, said its deputy minister Chong Chien Jen.
Commenting on a news report on the alleged sale on the internet of import APs for food items, Chong said stern action will be taken against holders of APs issued by the ministry who have abused them.
“So far, we have not received any reports on the misuse of APs issued by this ministry.
“For instance, the AP for the import of sugar is only issued to manufacturers of food and beverage products and this policy has just been implemented, so far there are no reports of abuse of sugar AP,” he said after officiating the National Art Competition 2019 (NAC2019) organised by the Global Art & Creative Sdn Bhd, here today.
Chong was replying to questions relating to a news report that APs for various food items such as flour, chicken, meat, sugar and round cabbages could be obtained online from people who been awarded them or their agents.
Chong said the Food Sector Market Study released by the Malaysian Competition Commission (MyCC) recently found that the APs for the import of round cabbages had been rented out to others.
“I think that is what we call rent-seeking, you get commission out of some AP and at the end of the day, that will translate into higher prices for the consumers,” he said.
Chong said the MyCC which was an agency under the ministry also proposed that the policy for awarding import APs and the recipients be reviewed.
“However, whether to carry out the recommendation is not under my ministry and it falls under other ministry’s power. I cannot speak on behalf of other ministries but generally, the MyCC study report of AP abuse,” he said. — Bernama