Export ban on face masks in case of shortage, says minister

KUCHING: In the event of a serious shortage of face masks in the country, the domestic trade and consumer affairs ministry is ready to consider a face mask export ban.

The minister concerned, Alexander Nanta Linggi, said the overwhelming demand for face masks had created a supply problem now that is not only affecting Malaysia but the whole world.

“In Malaysia, we have four face mask manufacturers who also depend on imported material to make them. They have to import the material from China and other countries in Europe,” he told a media conference here today.

Nanta said the ministry took a serious view of reports about a price increase in face masks and hand sanitisers due to the Covid-19 scare.

“We had several meetings about it and there were various views on how to resolve that problem. We are fully aware of people trying to take advantage of the situation and make a quick profit of it,” he said.

“We cannot allow them to take advantage of the public. Our ministry will conduct proper enforcement and make sure the people are protected,” he added.