PUTRAJAYA: KTM Bhd has been asked to double its sugar load and make more frequent trips to transport sugar from refineries in Penang to Selangor in view of the festive season.
Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Shafie Apdal said the railway service had agreed in principle to carry out this national duty.
KTM is currently making six trips a week to transport sugar from refineries in Prai, Penang, to the distribution centre located in Sungai Buloh, Selangor.
During each trip, the train carries 1,050 tonnes of sugar. I have asked KTM to double the load because more sugar is needed during the festive period.
I hope they will keep their word. It is important that all parties play their part in ensuring consumers are not deprived of sugar, especially during the celebration period, he told a press conference yesterday, adding that the distribution centre in Sungai Buloh also supplied sugar to states such as Johor, Malacca and Negri Sembilan.
The ministry started using naval ships on Sunday to ship sugar to consumers in Sabah and Sarawak.
Shafie said the sugar situation had improved, and his ministry was doing its best to ensure supply reached everyone, including those in remote villages.
He added that refineries were following the governments order to produce more coarse sugar. The ministry was also placing officers at refineries to monitor sugar production.
On another matter, he said the ministry would rope in artistes to create greater awareness against buying pirated VCDs and CDs.
If the public can be influenced by their idols on other things, why not on the purchase of VCDs and CDs? I believe artistes, whose livelihood and creativity are affected by pirated discs, can play an influential role in educating consumers, he added.
Shafie said the ministry had also stopped issuing new licences or permits to operate optic disc factories and revoked the licences of six companies found manufacturing pirated discs.
Since 2003, about 2,000 people were arrested for committing various offences under the Copyrights Act 1987.
There were 39 cases involving RM72.6mil worth of pirated discs seized from licensed optic disc factories and another 30 cases of illegal factories involving discs worth RM63.4mil.
The ministry conducted checks at 179,195 premises between January and August this year, took action on 39,346 cases and seized pirated discs worth RM475mil.