The State Government has been urged to consider setting up another cement plant in Sabah, preferably in Sandakan, to cope with the increasing demand and the accelerated development anticipated under the 9th Malaysia Plan.
Alternatively, it should adopt an open policy and allow industry players to import their own cement and let the free market system work for the benefit of housebuyers, among others.
Sabah Housing and Real Estate Developers Association (Shareda) President Kong Kok Wah said shortage of cement supply would dampen the growth of the construction and property sectors in Sabah.
He said the State is facing yet another round of shortage and this does not bode well for the State.
Kong said he had approached Sabah Cement Industries regarding this matter and was told that the demand for cement in the State for the first six months had far exceeded their projection by 20 per cent.
He said the existing arrangement and production of the factory cannot cope with the increasing demand, including Tawau, Lahad Datu and here.
"We were then assured that Sabah Cement Industries will do their best to solve the problem," he said, adding the explanation was unacceptable as we were assured that the problem would be solved within 10 days.
He said besides the erratic supply of cement, industry players here also had to contend with paying an extra RM1.55 per bag (each bag costs RM15.75) compared with RM14.20 in the west coast.