SIBU (Sept 27): Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) Youth strongly opposes the 51 per cent Bumiputera equity rule laid down by the Finance Ministry for freight forwarding companies, describing the practice as ‘unfair’ and ‘broad daylight robbery’.
The party’s Youth chief Michael Tiang, in pointing this out yesterday, said an unfair rule is always an unfair one, despite the Finance Ministry having since agreed to postpone the enforcement of the rule to Dec 31, 2022.
He said such rule must be scrapped to protect fair competition, especially during these dire straits brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“SUPP Youth strongly opposes the 51 per cent Bumiputera equity rule set down by the Finance Ministry as such unfair practice is like a broad daylight robbery!
“Even though the Finance Ministry has since agreed to postpone the enforcement of such rule to Dec 31, 2022, an unfair rule is always an unfair one, regardless when the authority decides to enforce it.
“Such rule must be scrapped to protect fair competition of our market, especially under such stringent conditions in time of Covid-19 pandemic,” Tiang, who is political secretary to the Chief Minister, said in a press statement.
He feared that if the 51 per cent Bumiputera equity rule is allowed to be enforced against the existing freight companies whenever they seek to renew their customs licences, no other businesses would be safe from the same fate.
“Recently, our Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob had stressed on the unity of this country in the spirit of Keluarga Malaysia, but by forcing the freight forwarding companies to comply with 51 per cent Bumiputera equity, the government is disrupting business entities which are established based on their own merits.
“DAP’s Lim Guan Eng, the former Finance Minister, claimed that his ministry didn’t allow the enforcement of the 51 per cent Bumiputera equity rule during his tenure – I would demand Lim to show us some official documents to support his claims,” he said.
If the Bumiputera equity rule was set down before Lim’s tenure as the finance minister, he had 22 months to cancel this rule for good and uphold the fairness he emphasised in his recent statement, added Tiang.
The enforcement of a 51 per cent Bumiputera ownership requirement for freight forwarding companies has been postponed by the Ministry of Finance (MoF) to December next year, according to news reports.
The letter to the effect was addressed to the secretaries-general and directors of various ministries and agencies such as the Customs Department, and was also sent to freight associations and companies.