Probe ‘higher’ cement prices in Sarawak, urges Guan Eng

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng says cement prices are ‘markedly higher’ in Sarawak than in Peninsular Malaysia. (Facebook pic)

PETALING JAYA: The finance ministry today said cement prices in Sarawak were “markedly higher” than in Peninsular Malaysia, in the wake of complaints that prices were being raised.

In a statement, its minister Lim Guan Eng said this matter should be further examined “to determine whether it is caused by monopolistic practices of local industry players in Sarawak”.

“Cement is a basic building material and a drastic price increase will inevitably feed into the economy negatively, and eventually hurt consumers,” he said.

Lim said the government had tackled similar concerns in West Malaysia, referring to Putrajaya’s assurance that there would be no increase in the price of cement, following speculation of a 40% surge in prices.

He said the assurance was to alleviate fears that major cement producers in the country were abusing their market power to raise prices unfairly.

Earlier this week, Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Saifuddin Nasution said there would be no price hikes following a meeting with 21 cement stakeholders.