Monday, May 12, 2008


Majimbun to urge KL to review chicken wing duties


The Member of Parliament for Sepanggar, Datuk Eric Majimbun, has promised to do his best to urge the Federal Government to review the new import duties dubbed as Tariff Rate Quota (TRQ) imposed on import of chicken wings into Sabah, which has come into effect since April 1 this year. He said he would do his level best to urge the Federal Government to revoke the said import duties, which he regarded as unreasonable and a great burden to the consumers in Sabah. He made the promise after listening to the explanation by Koh Tze Guan, President of the Frozen Meat and Food Importers Association Sabah (FMAFIAS), during a courtesy call by the Association on Saturday, to highlight their plight over the imposition of the TRQ. Also present were FMAFIAS Secretary General Louis Fong and Majimbun’s two party colleagues, Melanie Chia and Datuk Liew Teck Chan who are also the Luyang State Assemblywoman and Likas Assemblyman respectively. Koh highlighted that following the implementation of the TRQ, the retail price for grilled chicken wings has been increased from RM1.20/RM1.50 to RM1.80/RM2 each, while the retail price for the deep-fried chicken wings has been increased from RM1.50 to RM2. He especially argued that the Government to take into consideration of the unique situation of Sabah, that is the distance between Sabah and Peninsular Malaysia which is ocean apart, besides the fact that the local supply of chicken wings is still not enough to meet the market demand, thus making it necessary to import the chicken wings from Peninsular Malaysia. A calculation made by the Association based on the statistics of import of frozen chicken wings by Sabah last year, as compared to the production of chicken in the State revealed that the State will have to increase its chicken production by eight folds in order to meet the current market demand. “Last year, Sabah imported 15,875 MT of frozen chicken wings while the entire State’s production of dressed whole chicken was approximately 66,000 MT and only 10 per cent of that figure is made up of chicken wings which is only 1,980 MT,” he elaborated. Meanwhile, Melanie who is also the Assistant Finance Minister, revealed that she had recently brought up the issue to the attention of her colleague cum Community Development and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Azizah Mohd Dun. “She (Azizah) will be meeting up with the Association (FMAFIAS) soon to discuss about the issue,” she said. She too concurred with the Association’s view that the implementation of the TRQ would eventually force the traders to transfer the additional cost incurred on hein to the consumers.