THERE is no restriction on cement production and distribution in Sarawak, says Minister for International Trade, Industry and Investment, Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan.
The Deputy Premier noted that any local company can buy cement from any part of Malaysia.
“If they are to import from foreign countries, they are permitted to do so subject to the approval from the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs.
“Any company also can set up a cement manufacturing facility subject to the approval from relevant authorities,” he said when delivering his winding-up speech at the Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting on Thursday (Dec 1).
Awang Tengah was responding to Kota Sentosa assemblyman Wilfred Yap and Pending assemblywoman Violet Yong during the debate on the Supply (2023) Bill, touching on cement supply in Sarawak.
Yong urged the Sarawak government to do away with monopoly and practise free market by letting other manufacturers and suppliers into the cement market so that supply can be normalised and the price stays competitive.
She pointed out that for decades the sole cement supplier and manufacturer in Sarawak had been Cahaya Mata Sarawak Bhd (CMSB).
However, she stressed that despite CMSB monopolising the market, the problem of cement shortage kept occurring and never fully resolved.