'Check Rising Price of Cement'


KUALA LUMPUR: The Malay Contractors Association of Malaysia yesterday urged the authorities to look into the rising price of cement after a major cement manufacturer announced a price hike.


"We have heard that some places are selling cement at higher prices while others are selling at the old prices.


"Of course, this  depends on whether the cement they are selling are of new or old stock.


"However, we don't agree to any increase in price as all other building materials are already expensive," said council member Jamaludin Non.


He said this would be especially tough for contractors who were currently carrying out projects as they would be forced to absorb the price difference.


"Cement is a very important material. Almost everything uses cement.


"We hope the authorities monitor the situation, and if there needs to be an increase in prices, we hope that it would be discussed with all parties first."


Lafarge Malayan Cement Bhd had hiked up its prices by six per cent on Wednesday, drawing protests from several associations in the building sector.


CMS Cement Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Othman Abdul Rani yesterday said the company, Sarawak's sole cement producer, would not increase its prices.


"CMS Cement has always remained committed to the socio-economic growth of the state and to facilitate this, we will not be increasing our prices."


Othman said the company had the capacity to produce 5,500 tonnes per day and it distributes 5,300 tonnes per day as per demand.


"CMS Cement is looking to engage with third party dealers, downstream product users and business associations.


"By engaging with these three key stakeholder groups, we hope to champion open advocacy, foster closer working relations and provide a clear road map to drive Sarawak to reach the state's full potential. "It is our belief that we must all work together.


"CMS Cement offers in all three engagement instances to act as secretariat and facilitator, bringing parties together and moving in one unified direction," he said.