I am not a great fan of Ibrahim Ali, nor am I impressed with people like Chua Jui Meng.
PKR vice president Chua Jui Meng ticked off Perkasa chief Ibrahim Ali for his criticism of the threat by Lion Group chairman William Cheng to move his manufacturing base to Indonesia if the government do not give his company tariff protection against cheaper imports from foreign and other Asean countries.Read it here from the gutter press.
Asean country like Thailand imposed anti-dumping (AD) duty on certain hot rolled coil (HRC), hot rolled pickled and oiled coils and hot rolled plate (HRP) from China and Malaysia.The anti-dumping duty for China is 30.91%, while that from Malaysia is as high as 42.5 %. Products from Malaysian flat steel producer Megasteel Sdn Bhd (Megasteel) is subject to a lower AD duty of 23.57 percent.This pissed-off Mr.William Cheng.Obviously, the Thai government have considered him dumping his products in Thailand. AFTA agreement preclude imposition of tariff for imports from other ASEAN countries.
Many countries including the U.S. have, from time to time, took action to protect local industries by imposing anti-dumping duty on imports considered selling vastly below the normal market price.Indonesia has also done the same for imports of HRC from China,India,Taiwan and Russia declared as HRP to avoid paying import duties.
Uncompetitiveness, is no justification for government to agree to give tariff protection to a single manufacturer if it is going to have ripple effect on downstream activities and other end-users. The building industry survival much depend on the optimal prices of it building materials.It is the government duty to protect the whole industry not just one man just because he knows how to throws threats to get what he wants at the expense of the country losing its integrity and reputation with its other Asean members and be accused of reneging on the AFTA agreement.
Giving tariff protection and slapping on anti-dumping duty on unfair competition are too different things. The anti-dumping duty imposed by Thailand and Indonesia cover few countries, not just Malaysia.The Indonesian government is also contemplating imposing anti-dumping duty against aluminium plates imported from Malaysia and China.
The Malaysian government must have looked at the matter and deemed it as no threat to local manufactures.The benefits outweighs the negative threat from one man who wants the easy way out.
Obviously, Chua Jui Meng came to the defence of William Cheng out of politics, ethnic and personal reasons rather than the nation's interest.