Why drastic hike of building materials if no cement price increase, asks Wee

PETALING JAYA (Feb 13): The government should explain how the double-digit spike in raw building materials has come about if cement prices have not risen, MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong says.

"After checking the Producers Price Index report issued by the Statistic Department for November and December 2019, which is after reports of a rise in cement prices in October 2019, I found that the prices of raw building materials for the construction sector rose drastically for two months," Wee stated in a Facebook post today, reported The Star.

He pointed out the report showed a 5.9% increase in raw building materials in November last year compared to November 2018 while a 16% hike was recorded in December 2019. 

Wee was responding to Domestic Trade and Consumers Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail's statement earlier today which said its investigation revealed no rise in cement prices.

*No increase of cement prices as alleged — Saifuddin

"If the double-digit rise in the prices of raw building materials is not due to cement prices, then the minister must answer what the cause for such a steep rise is," he said.

The Ayer Hitam MP has recently highlighted that cement prices had escalated from RM180 a tonne in October 2019 to RM230 a tonne, while contractors and construction companies had complained of some 44% surge in cement price since October last year.

He noted that a drastic increase in construction cost would affect consumer buying power and impact the economy negatively.

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