KUALA LUMPUR, June 23 — Efforts are being made to amend the Competition Act 2010 to make the country’s competition laws more comprehensive and bring them in line with international practices, said Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

The prime minister said the proposed amendments, especially on the introduction of provisions for a regime on merger control, would empower the Malaysia Competition Commission (MyCC) to evaluate and investigate merger transactions which have potential to cause market concentration and lead to monopolies in the market.

“We all know monopolistic practices always create anxiety among Keluarga Malaysia, especially when this monopoly tries to continue disrupting competition and preventing the entry of small competitors in the market.

“Amendments to the Competition Act and Malaysia Competition Commission Act will give power to MyCC to tackle in an effective and efficient manner issues of competition normally seen in a frequently changing economic landscape,” he said in his speech at the third MyCC 2022 Competition Law Conference here today.

His speech was read out by Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi.

Ismail Sabri said the government fully supports the efforts of MyCC to introduce this regime to ensure the country’s economy would continue to expand rapidly.

On the Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint (MyDigital), Ismail Sabri said the government acknowledged the role of competition laws in regulating digital markets, including digital platform activities, to prevent local players and small industries from possible anti-competition practices or bullying by bigger players in the market.

He said MyCC was entrusted with updating existing policies and laws on competition with the aim of facilitating economic growth to realise the blueprint.

The prime minister also touched on the issue of cartels formed through secret agreements among competitors in the same market, saying it constituted the most serious form of behaviour under the Competition Act 2010.

He said MyCC had set up a special team to investigate the issue of cartel concerning hikes in chicken prices and appropriate action would be taken for the sake of Keluarga Malaysia if it could be proven.

Ismail Sabri said government procurement activities could also fall prey to monopolistic practices of cartels, which would be detrimental to bidders who competed fairly and victimise the people.

He said competition laws form a core element of a country’s economic policies, producing not only competitive prices and better quality goods but also allowing for firm action to be taken against any form of economic sabotage committed against the people.

In view of the heavy responsibility shouldered by MyCC, the government was prepared to empower the commission by increasing its posts and budget, he added. — Bernama