The Sabah State Government has assured that the supply of cement in the State is sufficient for development projects despite the hike in fuel prices announced early this month. In Sabah, a subsidiary company of Sedco, Cement Industries (S) Sdn Bhd (CIS), is the sole producer of cement. Its grinding plant can produce a maximum of 900,000tpa.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Yahya Hussin commended CIS for fulfilling its main objective of ensuring adequate and stable supply of quality cement in Sabah without relying on imported cement from overseas. "We are satisfied with the company’s progress in making sure the need for cement at development projects in the State is fulfilled.
"The retail prices for cement is appropriate and affordable in Sabah considering the ceiling prices for the controlled item were set 10 years ago. "Also, it seems that the reasonable ceiling prices for cement have stabilised the cost of building constructions in the State although the company’s operating costs have gone up following the recent increase in fuel prices," he said. Yahya said this at a press conference during his working visit to the CIS grinding plant at Sepanggar Bay, Wednesday.
On whether the ceiling prices for cement should be standardised in the State, Yahya replied that he would leave the matter to the company and the relevant authorities as cement is a controlled item with the ceiling prices set by the Federal Government. Meanwhile, on complaints about drastic price increases on consumer goods following the recent rise in oil prices, he admitted that they have received information that some prices of goods have gone up but not the controlled ones. "We have yet to receive any complaint or report about indiscriminate price hiking on controlled items. Nevertheless, there are some prices of uncontrolled goods that have been raised but the situation is not alarming," he said. Yahya, who is also the Minister of Community Development and Consumer Affairs, hoped local traders would not exploit the latest hike in fuel prices as an excuse to raise their prices.