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Thread: Malaysian Customs confiscate SUGAR at Causeway

  1. #1

    Default Malaysian Customs confiscate SUGAR at Causeway

    NO MORE SWEET DEALS FOR SUGAR-HUNTING S'PORE SHOPPERS
    -----------------------------------------------------
    Tor Ching Li
    chingli@newstoday.com.sg

    FIRST, it was about foreign cars guzzling Malaysian petrol. Now, Malaysia
    is feeling sour about foreign purchases of its sugar.

    According to a report in The Star yesterday, Malaysian Customs officers
    have been confiscating packets of sugar off bargain-hunting Singaporeans
    at the Causeway checkpoint.

    Like petrol, sugar is a price-controlled item in Malaysia and costs RM1.40
    ($0.61) per kilo - considerably cheaper than in Singapore, where it would
    cost between $1.05 and $1.60 for the same amount of the sweetener.

    While no fines are currently being imposed on foreigners attempting to
    take sugar across the Causeway from Malaysia, there will be a fine of
    RM100 per kilo from next Friday onwards.

    For now, all packets of sugar bought by foreign consumers will be seized
    at the Causeway.

    Customs director-general Abdul Rahman Abdul Hamid announced this ruling
    last Friday.

    However, many Singaporeans were caught unawares as there have been no
    signs put up along the Causeway or at Malaysian shopping centres regarding
    the new ban.

    Johor Baru MP Shahrir Samad told Today: "Communication of this new rule
    has not been very effective. The Customs department and relevant
    ministries must make the effort to inform people, especially in Johor
    Baru, about this rule by having signs at the checkpoint and retail
    outlets."

    State Customs director Sarmin Hussin told The Star that signs informing
    motorists of the ban would be in place ahead of April 21.

    Speaking about the reasons behind the ban, Malaysian political analyst
    James Wong said: "While this is supposedly part of an effort to deter
    sugar smuggling, it could signal some displeasure with Singapore.

    "And I feel some officers are being overzealous in enforcing the law."

    Some reasons for tit-for-tat tensions include recent reports in the
    Singapore media on crime across the Causeway and the Singapore
    Government's refusal to recognise the MyKad as an entry document for
    frequent travellers, said Mr Wong.

    Malaysian Retailers' Association honorary secretary Chow Chee Ming told
    Today a blanket ban on sugar purchases was "unreasonable".

    He said: "This new rule is not very business-friendly. There should be
    some flexibility to allow for personal consumption, while deterring
    commercial trading of cheap sugar."

    Mr Shahrir agreed: "The focus should be clamping down on smugglers, not on
    people who buy sugar for personal consumption."

    However, Mr Chow hopes that the new ruling can eventually be taken with a
    pinch of salt.

    "Previously there was a limit on the amount of cooking oil, flour,
    condensed milk and sugar each person could bring into Singapore, but this
    was gradually enforced less strictly," he said.

    This law restricts the amount of price-controlled goods - such as sugar,
    flour, cooking oil and condensed milk - that can be exported, to 2kg per
    person.

    Nevertheless, sugar sales have recently come under scrutiny by the
    Malaysian government, which is now on the lookout for sugar hoarders and
    smugglers across the Thai and Indonesian borders.

    Earlier this month, Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said the
    government was stepping up enforcement against those hoarding sugar and
    raising the price of the controlled item.

    Mr Idris Johari, assistant manager of Central Sugar Refinery in Shah Alam,
    told Today that Malaysia was not suffering from any sugar shortage.

    "I think there is no reason to stop consumers from buying a few kilograms
    of sugar home," he said, noting that the price of sugar in Malaysia was
    almost half that in Thailand or Indonesia.

    Mr Charles Wee, a Singaporean who goes to Johor Baru weekly to shop, said
    that a sugar ban would not deter him from his trips - though a fuel tax
    and entry levy would.

    "If I have to pay RM20 to go into Johor Baru, I must as well shop
    locally - it'll work out cheaper," he said.

  2. #2
    Moderator nightwolf75's Avatar
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    Default Re: Malaysian Customs confiscate SUGAR at Causeway

    this is really a head-scratching move...

    roast chicken/duck, i can understand why confiscate. but sugar?
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    Default Re: Malaysian Customs confiscate SUGAR at Causeway

    Quote Originally Posted by nightwolf75
    this is really a head-scratching move...

    roast chicken/duck, i can understand why confiscate. but sugar?
    I normally don't comment on such issues but....

    maybe they find that we've been spending too much cash over there, so they trying to help us spend less?

  4. #4

    Default Re: Malaysian Customs confiscate SUGAR at Causeway

    As the relationship of two sides turns sour, the people will suffer.

    I guess, there are more to come...

  5. #5

    Default Re: Malaysian Customs confiscate SUGAR at Causeway

    Quote Originally Posted by tang90246
    As the relationship of two sides turns sour, the people will suffer.

    I guess, there are more to come...
    From a lack of SUGAR!
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    Default Perfectly Reasonable

    Sugar is seen as an essential commodity subsidised by the government for local usage. If you buy sugar from Malaysia, you are effectively taking a Malaysian government subsidy meant to help the poor in Malaysia. I think it is well within reason for them to ban Singaporeans from buying their sugar.
    Last edited by dkw; 11th April 2006 at 10:22 AM.

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    Default Re: Perfectly Reasonable

    Quote Originally Posted by dkw
    Sugar is seen as an essential commodity subsidised by the government for local usage. If you buy sugar from Malaysia, you are effectively taking a Malaysian government subsidy meant to help the poor in Malaysia. I think it is well within reason for them to ban Singaporeans from buying their sugar.
    Fair and Squard...
    Pls also note that they come to local poly and uni for study and paid almost the same fee as us after getting the student/study grant...
    Last edited by clarinet; 11th April 2006 at 10:32 AM.

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    Default Re: Perfectly Reasonable

    Quote Originally Posted by clarinet
    Fair and Squard...
    Pls also note that they come to local poly and uni for study and paid almost the same fee as us after getting the student/study grant...
    There are strategic reasons for that. If we choose to withdraw those rights, we will also be well within reason.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Sion's Avatar
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    Default Re: Malaysian Customs confiscate SUGAR at Causeway

    I think there is a severe shortage of sugar in Malaysia.

    The kopi I had in Malaysia tasted less sweet than the one in Singapore.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Malaysian Customs confiscate SUGAR at Causeway

    Of all things, sugar?

  11. #11
    Senior Member Big Kahuna's Avatar
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    Default Re: Malaysian Customs confiscate SUGAR at Causeway

    Next....rice...salt....cooking oil etc etc except cigarets and VCDs

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    Default Put yourself in their shoes.

    Put yourself in their shoes. The Malaysian government, wisely or not, subsidises certain commodities like fuel oil and sugar, in an attempt to make them affordable for ordinary Malaysians. This is effectively malaysian taxpayers' money.
    If hordes of Singaporeans and Thai descend upon them and suck up these commodities, does it not result in a revenue loss? Does it not cause resentment amongst the locals? If we were good neighbours, we would not be taking advantage of that situation.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Malaysian Customs confiscate SUGAR at Causeway

    I think. This article, or author herself, has no intention to report. Its all too familiar that I read articles like this from authors of BOTH sides. It starts off by catching ur attention (and catching readership and sales) with titles like confiscation blabla...and the whole point is missed altogether in this issue alone. If you read the Msia side story urself, the MAIN reason is there is sugar shortage in that country. If there isnt enough water in Singapore, will any of us make a big hoo-haa if our custom confiscate any amount of coke or mineral water bought by Msian?

    2. Someone pointed down below, yes it's subsidised using money paid by msia taxpayer, we are already PRIVILEGED(not entitled) to enjoy the same subsidy without contributing to their coffer, what's the fuss if this privilege is cancel, it's not an entitlement anyway.

    3. Singapore itself has already ban a lot of things if you, some of you not already know. Pork for example, even for personal consumption is not allowed to be brought in, last i heard from taxi driver, poultry (b4 whatever bird flu things come into view), some vegetables too..sooner or later, you will have to buy everything here. There was this msian old lady (i dont suppose she can read english)brought 8 pieces of bak zhang...and spore custom happily fined her sgd800 for all...rm1600 bak zhang by an old lady who just want to visit her family in spore..

    Some politicians, young bloods notably, not journalists alone have taken some issues rather personally, thus the SOUR relationship (potrayed or in reality) btw the two cities today. For me, a commoner, I only stand to lose in their personal feuds. But, always look at the bright side of life, and life goes on for me.

    Give yourself a break from all these two cities news, i read them for entertainment and kopitiam talk only.


    No offense intended, no sugar has been consumed and no animals have been harmed in the process of writing this articles.


    Cheers

    p/s: i do agree the custom is overzealous in confiscating anyway.
    Last edited by iamdruglord; 11th April 2006 at 01:41 PM.

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    Default Re: Malaysian Customs confiscate SUGAR at Causeway

    Quote Originally Posted by nightwolf75
    this is really a head-scratching move...

    roast chicken/duck, i can understand why confiscate. but sugar?
    Fine of RM$100 per 1kg?

    How abt if we buy 0.9kg? No fine?
    "Wonders of the Human Mind. Unfathomable to the highest degree."

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    Default Re: Malaysian Customs confiscate SUGAR at Causeway

    do correct me if i am wrong.

    many years ago, Malaysia govt has restriction put up of buying beyond certain qty of sugar, salt, rice, and oil by foreigners who bring them out of Malaysia.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Malaysian Customs confiscate SUGAR at Causeway

    Quote Originally Posted by Sion
    I think there is a severe shortage of sugar in Malaysia.

    The kopi I had in Malaysia tasted less sweet than the one in Singapore.
    maybe you showed the owner your Singapore passport?
    next time singaporean need to fill their stomach 3/4 full before going to JB for seafood ha.


    Well, i guess Malaysia have their reason.
    But it isn't a bad thing to singapore too, money spend on singapore side will benefit to singapore sugar vendor.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Malaysian Customs confiscate SUGAR at Causeway

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Kahuna
    Next....rice...salt....cooking oil etc etc except cigarets and VCDs
    Actually there are few items have been restricted to bring in and it is not just happens this week, i think rice and salt also.

    Every country will put some restriction that they think benefit to the country itself, so just let it be. Singapore restricts your car to bring cheaper fuel from malaysia too...

  18. #18

    Default Re: Put yourself in their shoes.

    Quote Originally Posted by dkw
    Put yourself in their shoes. The Malaysian government, wisely or not, subsidises certain commodities like fuel oil and sugar, in an attempt to make them affordable for ordinary Malaysians. This is effectively malaysian taxpayers' money.
    If hordes of Singaporeans and Thai descend upon them and suck up these commodities, does it not result in a revenue loss? Does it not cause resentment amongst the locals? If we were good neighbours, we would not be taking advantage of that situation.
    very well said, countries are like friends.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Put yourself in their shoes.

    Quote Originally Posted by LENS
    very well said, countries are like friends.
    To shatter ur dream of 'aiyah lets all be friends' where countries are concerned...

    "The worst enemy yesterday can be ur best friend tomorrow. Ur best ally can be ur worst enemy the next moment. There are only permanent interests amongst countries. No permanent allies or enemies."
    "Wonders of the Human Mind. Unfathomable to the highest degree."

  20. #20

    Default Re: Malaysian Customs confiscate SUGAR at Causeway

    you guys missed out 1 more..

    singaporean per person has to pay GST for goods bought from overseas. totally more than SGD$300 per person when travelling overseas. I got fined and had to pay GST when i bought a SB-800 overseas. AND got charged extra $250 for not declaring. so much for budget terminal.

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