Monopoly and labour woes continue to haunt businesses in New Malaysia

Monopoly and labour woes continue to haunt businesses in New Malaysia

PUCHONG: A business leader questioned the rationale of the Pakatan Harapan government continuing the practice of monopoly even though it came to power on promises of reforms.

“Pakatan Harapan claimed that they would end monopoly in businesses.  Why then is the monopoly continuing? Why is the government enriching individual companies?” questioned Datuk Jamarul Khan S Kadir.

Jamarul Khan is Malaysian Indian Muslim Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Mimcoin) president. Mimcoin is represented by business and commerce leaders of various sectors from the Indian Muslim community.

He pointed out that the monopoly on rice is no longer held by the government agency, Bernas. It is instead being held by DRB Hicom.

He added that the monopoly is also prevalently practiced on the import of other essential food items.

“The monopoly remains. The present system also doesn’t allow other industry players to import.” 

“As a result, prices of essential items such as sugar and flour are higher than the price in the international market.”

“The restriction on importation of sugar and flour must be removed.”

Jamarul also said that the removal of monopoly would help in bringing down the cost of living. The higher cost of living is an issue troubling Malaysians these days.

“If the government is keen to bring down cost of living woes, it can only be done if the monopoly is removed and prices are competitive.

“To bring down cost of living, the government should practice more open tenders instead of continuing the practice of monopoly. Why not have the open tender system implemented on essential items?”

Labour force sorely lacking

The second major issue that is becoming a burden for the business community is the lack of labour force to meet industry demands.

“Getting the labour force is a big struggle. The government hasn’t come out with a concrete solution.

“Businesses have become a punching bag. Foreign workers are a necessity even though we are not fond of them. We just can’t get local labour force.”

This has resulted in various business sectors such as mini markets, factories and restaurants closing down, he said.

“Businesses closing down is not a good sign for any growing economy,” he added.

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