July 24, 2020 7:00 AM
PETALING JAYA: The head of a company that manufactures face masks has urged Putrajaya to further reduce the ceiling price of masks from RM1.20 to 80 sen.
Haminnuddin Hamid, CEO of Ideal Healthcare Sdn Bhd, told FMT production costs were currently much lower than they were in March, when Covid-19 began its relentless spread.
“The situation now is different,” he said. “There are sufficient materials. Manufacturers have built up stocks and demand has dropped globally.
“The RM1.20 ceiling price is too high, especially now that masks will be mandatory from August 1.”
The new price will be effective from Aug 15.
Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Alexander Nanta Linggi told the Dewan Rakyat yesterday that the supply of masks was now adequate and could be bought online and anywhere else from Aug 15.
Haminnuddin said importers who got their supplies from overseas could now sell them at RM1.20 and still make a large profit because of the import duty exemption.
He urged all local manufacturers to lower their prices.
He said there would be people who could not afford to pay RM1.20 for a mask. “So it makes sense to lower the ceiling price.”
The government, which buys masks for frontliners, would also benefit from lower prices, he added.
He urged Putrajaya to also buy masks that it could distribute to poor members of the public.