Deafening silence over surge in cement prices despite govt assurance, says Dr Wee

PETALING JAYA: MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong (pic) has taken the government to task over its silence on the rise in cement prices over the last four months.

He said cement prices had surged despite the government's assurances that there would be no price hike by manufacturers unless agreed to by the Domestic Trade and Consumers Affairs Ministry.

“The price of cement has rose from RM180 a ton to RM230 a ton. In February, 2020, the price of cement has risen from RM260 to RM280 a ton.

“This is a 44% rise in four months. The number ‘444’ in Chinese pronunciation is ‘death, death, death’,” he said.

The Ayer Hitam MP said he raised the issue of higher cement prices on June 15 last year, which resulted in a protest from the rakyat.

He said this led to the government stepping in with assurances given by cement manufacturers that they would not raise cement prices without the ministry's approval.

Dr Wee asked why the government had not addressed the issue, unlike the previous occasion when he had raised the matter.

“Why don't do it now? Has the Cabinet approved the drastic hike in only four months?” he said in a statement posted on Facebook on Sunday (Feb 2).

He noted that the Johor Master Builders Association had warned that consumers would have to bear the cost of higher cement prices.

“To help the rakyat, Pakatan Harapan cannot wash its hands as ... a rise in cement and concrete prices will burden consumers. Prices of homes will go up,” he added.

Dr Wee added that Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng had even acknowledged that a rise in construction costs would result in a higher cost of living.

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