JOHOR BARU: The government will ban the export of rubberwood effective July 1, said Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong.
Dr Wee said on Thursday that the decision was made to address the shortage of raw materials faced by the Malaysian furniture industry.
He added that the decision was made by the Cabinet before Hari Raya following complaints from the furniture industry and exporters.
Dr Wee said this in a press conference after attending the Permas state seat Hari Raya open house hosted by Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin.
He said that the shortage of raw materials was highlighted during a meeting with the Muar Furniture Association and Malaysia Furniture Council recently as one of the two main factors affecting the furniture industry.
He said some RM200mil to RM300mil of raw rubberwood is exported yearly to countries such as Vietnam and China, adding that this was hurting the Malaysian furniture industry.
"We sell the raw materials to other countries to process and sell back to us. So by keeping the raw materials in our country, we are able to add value to our industry, address the shortage and create more opportunities," he said.