Hardware dealers in East Malaysia have been making a killing from the current cement crisis gripping the State by selling the commodity in loose form at RM1 per kilo or RM16 per small bag.
The actual retail price of a bag containing 50kg of cement costs RM14 (US$4.00). Hence, the equivalent of the same cement bag, if bought in loose form, would earn the dealers RM36 profit (US$10) .
Which means the seller could expect to earn nearly three times by selling the supply in a cement bag, albeit in loose form.
Consumer Association of Sabah and Labuan (Cash) President Datuk Patrick Sindu, who has been receiving complaints on these, has urged the Government to do something urgently to resolve the problem including on the alleged shortage in cement supply.
Cement Industries Sabah (CIS) on Monday denied it has been monopolising and controlling cement supply in the State and Labuan.
Its CEO Datuk Aslie Awang Hashim said that while it was true that CIS is the only cement manufacturer in Sabah, others are free to import cement from elsewhere into the State and Labuan.