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New Plea on the Cement Price




Kota Kinabalu: The Sabah Housing and Real Estate Developers Association has again appealed to the State Government to review the current selling price of cement.


Shareda President Kong Kwok Wah said the issue was among the resolutions passed at the association's 8th council meeting recently as it felt that since Cement Industries (Sabah) Sdn Bhd - the sole cement producer in Sabah was a government-owned company - it has a corporate responsibility to revise the selling price in line with the economic slowdown.


Citing statistics from the Business Department of the Construction Industry Development Board and the Master Builder Association Malaysia, Kong said in a statement that the average selling price of cement in Peninsular Malaysia had dropped.


"Furthermore, Sarawak's CMS Cement Sdn Bhd also reduced their price last November and Shareda hopes Cement Industries (Sabah) Sdn Bhd will emulate CMS Cement as developers have to cope with other challenges such as high development cost to stay sustainable particularly during this current financial meltdown.


In another resolution, Shareda urged Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) to further reduce the base-lending rate since the first reduction of the Overnight Policy Rate (OPR) to 3.25 per cent last November, in an effort to spur local economic growth.


Kong said the minor revision of 0.25 per cent of the OPR does not give any significant impact to the growth of the local economy.


"Banks should gradually decrease (the BLR) to three to four per cent.


Some countries have been persistently revising the lending rates in order to mitigate the negative impact of the weak market sentiment before it is too late to do any remedial solutions."


The association was of the view that instead of tightening lending application activities, financial institutions should consistently provide financial aid particularly with the current economic period to boost the domestic economy.


Shareda hoped that local financial institutions and property developers will put in more effort to counter the challenges of the financial turmoil.





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