MTEM: Give AP to bumiputra companies after ending Bernas’ monopoly

MTEM: Give AP to bumiputra companies after ending Bernas’ monopoly

KUALA LUMPUR: The government’s intention of ending Padiberas Nasional Bhd’s (Bernas) monopoly on rice should be done fairly with Approved Permit (AP) import licences given to bumiputera rice mill owners and wholesalers and not just to non-bumiputera major industry players, said the Malay Economic Action Council (MTEM).

Its chief executive officer Ahmad Yazid Othman said the companies that take over Bernas’ responsibilities should be widely experienced and able to improve the lot of farmers as well as Malaysians in general.

“The company should have had long experience in the rice industry and not be a Bernas subsidiary,” he said in a statement today.

Yazid said the APs should be distributed as soon as possible to ensure a smooth transition process and the government does not lose out.

“The period should exceed two years to ensure effective and stable operations of the companies given the trust,” he said.

He also suggested the implementation of several matters by year-end, including making sure that the companies can discharge their responsibilities such as large-scale marketing and management in order to adequately protect stakeholders’ interests.

“If well-implemented, this will ensure the country’s rice industry grows strongly, guarantee food security and enhance the participation of bumiputera entrepreneurs in an industry that is vital to Malaysia,” said Yazid.