The government assured on 19 June 2019 that there will be no increase in the price of cement, ending speculation and concern about a rise in its price. Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Saifuddin Nasution said the decision was made after a meeting with the stakeholders. "If they continue (with the hike) it will affect the affordable housing projects," he said.
"I met them over the last two days. We heard their views and we gave ours," he said.
He was speaking to reporters after launching a standardised vehicle heat-blocker film certified by the Standards and Industrial Research Institute of Malaysia, (Sirim) at his ministry.
He said the 21 cement manufacturers were told the government planned to build 1 million affordable houses nationwide, and that cement was the main material for the construction of the houses.
"If they continue (with the hike) it will affect the affordable housing projects," he said.
It was earlier reported that several contractors and cement product manufacturers had revealed they had received a letter from a local cement company that the price of cement would be going up. Some reports said the price was expected to increase by 40%.
Saifuddin said cement was a price-controlled item.
He said manufacturers were informed that if they wanted to increase cement prices, they would have to get permission from his ministry or else they would be committing an offence.
Saifuddin said the stakeholders were also informed that they would need to inform the ministry before sending out price increase letters or circulars.
He said the manufacturers agreed not to raise prices and to also seek government approval before issuing such letters or circulars.