Monday, June 05, 2006

Sugar Manufacturers - Not So Sweet Bloodsuckers.

Retailers and wholesalers in the Klang Valley have been facing problems getting sugar supply since a month ago. Manager of wholesaler Sejahtera Baru Sdn Bhd in Cheras, Marsalaila M. Adam, 25, said he ran out of sugar two days ago as he received only 80 bags of the commodity this month compared to the usual 200 bags from a factory. He said he had to restrict traders to 5kg of sugar each and individual buyers to 2kg each. "Manufacturers say the cost of sugar production like electricity and plastic has gone up causing them to cut down on production to avoid heavier losses," he told Bernama Monday.

**** So now the damned sugar factories want their share of the profits from the recent electricity tariff hike. Where are the big government Tuans who said that they will strictly monitor and ensure that no one will take advantage of the situation? The greedy sugar manufacturers are purposely slowing down production to create an artificial shortage and then demand a price hike. It is an old trick but one that works every time, because the government talks but doesn't do anything or at least 'closes' one eye to this type of blackmailing of the public. The government knows it, the sugar manufacturers know it and they also know that we know it but they couldn't care two hoots because past experience tells them that at the end of the day we the suckers will be made to pay more. Bloodsuckers vs suckers is a mismatch; we always lose.

Is there no law or regulation by which the authorities can force these people to produce more? Is asking us to part with a 'little extra' cash the only way out? Sugar is an essential need for the people and except for diabetics and overweight 'fat-cats' we simply can't do without it.

Does anyone reading this have any bright ideas on how to preempt any move either on the part of the government or the sugar factory towkays to burden us further?

****Update (6/6/06):Fomca Calls For Stern Action To Address Sugar Shortage

The Federation of Malaysian Consumers Association (Fomca) Tuesday called for stern action by the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry to overcome the shortage of sugar in the country. It urged the ministry to conduct checks and monitor operations of the factories involved to determine the status of sugar production. In a statement issued today, Fomca said the government should be firm by not entertaining requests by sugar manufacturers to raise the price of the commodity. It expressed concern that the shortage would result in producers of sugar-based products to increase the price of their goods. Fomca claimed that the shortage continued because there was no concrete action by the ministry to address the problem and attributed it to tactics used by the manufacturers to get the government to allow a price increase. Fomca said it had received numerous complaints from consumers nationwide of difficulty in buying sugar since a month ago. Sugar is a controlled item under the Price Control Act 1946.


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