KUALA KANGSAR: Labour-intensive factories which depend on imported components to manufacture their products should not label them as Made-in-Malaysia, said International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz.
We can only say that a product is Made-in-Malaysia if most of the parts used are locally-produced. If all the components are from overseas, then they should be labelled as Assembled in Malaysia, she said.
Manufacturers could still label their products as Made-in-Malaysia if the imported components were kept to a minimum, she said, in commenting on a recent request by Kamunting state assemblyman Datuk Dr Abdul Malek Mohd Hanafiah to investigate a factory here which sourced for components from China but marketed the end products as Made-in-Malaysia.
Abdul Malek said such actions could undermine other manufacturers of Malaysian goods whose products were well-received by consumers in the international market.
Speaking to reporters after hosting a thanksgiving gathering organised by elected Barisan Nasional representatives from here, Rafidah said Abdul Maleks claim would be investigated soon by ministry officers based in Ipoh.
Rafidah said she expected factories which depended wholly on imported components to eventually shift to other locations such as Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia or China where labour cost was cheaper.
We dont encourage labour-intensive factories here. We encourage them to relocate as they will eventually close shop if they continue to operate in Malaysia, she said.
Earlier in her speech, Rafidah thanked the residents here for voting for all the Barisan Nasional candidates during last month's general election.
The gathering was also attended by 24 diplomats from 21 countries who are attending a 30-day course on International Participation on Globalisation 2004 in Kuala Lumpur from April 1.
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