KOTA KINABALU: The call by Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob to boycott Chinese businesses in order to bring down cost of goods is irresponsible.
Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) supreme council member Lim Young Peing, said the minister’s call was extremely insensitive and provoking as it could incite racial and ethnic disharmony within our multi-racial community.
Ismail made the call through a posting in the social media and LDP demand the minister to make a public apology for his uncalled for and sinister remarks made recently.
“It is perceived that Chinese business has been reluctant to reduce the price of goods when fuel prices fall. In reality, the cost of goods and services are determined by other factors. For one, the direct cost of products. We have seen the ringgit plunged from US$3.30 to US$3.65 in few months, and that translates to an increase of 10 per cent in the cost of all imported goods. “
“Most business operators are forced to swallow the bitter bill by maintaining the selling prices of goods and services in the view that currency volatility is temporary and short-lived. Another crucial consideration for most of the business operators is the coming of Goods and Services Tax (GST) in April this year. The wake and impact of GST in their business costing is yet to be fully realised and understood, and that explains why they are holding decision to make any changes in their commercial pricing. “
“Comparing to the direct cost of goods and labour, the fuel prices only plays a minor portions in such business operations as restaurants, for instance,” Lim said.
“Perhaps it is high time that we should call Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) to bring down its electricity tariff in response to the tremendous drop of fuel price.”
“In its recent earning release, TNB net profit had rose to 34.3 per cent to RM2.35 billion in its first quarter, and sales increased by 15 per cent to RM11 billion as gas and coal alone account for the 90 per cent TNB fuel mix in power generation.”
Lim added that he foresee TNB achieving a historical peak in profit, thanks to the global trend of weak fuel prices. Thereby making it timely for the government to look into reducing the electricity tariff in order to bring down the cost of goods.
“Similarly, we should also call for a reduction of freight charges by shipping companies in the waking of currency volatility and economic uncertainty, so as to buffer the impact of the increase of goods’ cost due to weak ringgit suffered by importers,” he said.–By Bosco Wong/Sayangsabah.