Bernas, the privately owned company that monopolized rice importing is under the spotlight.

The sugar industry is also being controlled by the same owner. Let's understand the Malaysian sugar industry together.

Sugar Landscape in Malaysia
In Malaysia, there are two sugar refiners –MSM under FGV Holdings Berhad and CSR under Tradewinds (M) Berhad – operating five sugar refinery. The 5 sugar refinery includes Central Sugar Refinery in Shah Alam, Gula Padang Terap in Kuala Nerang, MSM Prai in Seberang Prai, MSM Perlis in Chuping and MSM Sugar Refinery Johor in Tanjung Langsat.

The current total capacity of the five refineries is 3.0 million metric tonnes per year. Domestic demand in Malaysia is approximately 1.5 million metric tonnes per year, leaving Malaysia with an excess capacity of 1,500,000 metric tonnes per year.

As part of the local refiners’ duty to ensure sufficient sugar supply for Malaysia, a certain amount of sugar is stockpiled to ensure adequate supply even during high world raw sugar prices.

Malaysia Sugar Pricing
As sugar is gazetted under the Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act 2011 (Determination of Maximum Price – No. 2, Order 2017),

Currently, the domestic wholesale refined sugar price is currently capped at RM2.69 per kilogramme (kg). The maximum price set by the government for retail coarse sugar (Gula Pasir Kasar) is RM2.85 a kilogramme and fine sugar (Gula Pasir Halus) is RM2.95 a kilogramme.

Reducing Sugar Price Increases Risk
Sugar, must be used in moderation. As of 2013, the Malaysian government removed the sugar subsidy in an effort to reduce the rate of diabetes among Malaysians. Any further reduction to Malaysia’s already cheap sugar might spur increased consumption.