The Sabah Housing and Real Estate Developers Association (Shareda) today expressed its concern over the hike in cement price announced recently and feels that the state government should intervene and request a review of the building material price.
Shareda president Kong Kwok Wah said its members were not faced with an increase in the price of cement alone but also the prices of other building materials as well as fuel prices in the past two years.
Kong said: "We cannot keep on passing the cost to the consumers as we have to absorb some of the increase as well. The property price is market-driven. The unreasonable and hefty increase may hurt the industry as a whole."
Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Datuk Mohd Shafie Apdal said yesterday the upward revision of the cement price by five per cent, which came into force on Dec 1, had no effect on house prices and that the cement price hike could not be avoided because it had not been raised for the past 20 years.
Kong also said that the government did not seem to be doing enough or much to monitor the situation and left it entirely to the ministry which believed that the hike, which was less than 10 per cent, would not affect property prices.
He said: "But what about Sabah? The increase is between 20 per cent and 30 per cent. It is a sad story for Sabah. The industry will have to face the non-stop increase in prices of almost all the building materials. We urge the government to look into the problems of the industry and to adopt measures to lessen the impact."
The increase of cement price in Sabah for a 50 kg bag is between RM2.95 and RM3.25, which is a hike of between 20 per cent and 30 per cent, while in Peninsular Malaysia it is less than 10 per cent.