KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 20 -- The Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry (MOA) have issued 150 Approval Permits (AP) this year to import round cabbages after not renewing AP held by 63 companies.
Its Secretary General, Datuk Mohd Sallehhuddin Hassan said that MOA would monitor the performance of the companies given the AP and would take appropriate action if they failed to reach the stipulated level of performance.
‘’The Operation Procedure Standard in the evaluation of AP applications has been improved to ensure transparency at the levels of the Agriculture Department and ministry.
‘’Holders of AP must declare an oath based on the National Centre for Governance, Integrity and Anti-Corruption (GIACC) to enable action to be taken if there is abuse of AP,’’ he told a media conference to provide a feedback to the Food Sector Market Review Report by the Malaysian Competition Commission (MyCC).
The report, which was tabled on Aug 6, among others touched on the existence of abuse of AP to import round cabbage which had contributed to an increase in its price.
Commenting further, he said that the rise in the price of round cabbages was due to the change in the planting season between May to July in the producing country and also the US dollar exchange rate with the local currency.
‘’The trend in the rise in price is parallel to the prices of other food products such as fruits, fish and sea food,’’ he said.
On the issue of the supply of meat, Mohd Sallehhuddin said MOA had open the avenue to import meat from several countries, namely, United States, Pakistan, Brazil, New Zealand and the Middle Eastern countries.
He said that there were 53 abattoirs worldwide which could supply meat to Malaysia currently.
‘’Only several companies are financially capable of becoming meat importers at the moment due to the high operational costs involved.
‘’The price of meat in Malaysia is cheaper compared to our neighbour Singapore. The price of tenderloin is RM175.90 a kilogramme Malaysia compared to RM217.79 a kilogramme in Singapore,’’ he said.
In another development, he said that MOA was in the process of amending the Malaysian Quarantine and Inspection Services Act 2011 (Act 728) to expand the functions and power of the Department of Malaysian Quarantine and Inspection Services (Maqis).