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SAMENTA Pushes Govt To Enact Economic Sabotage Act

KUALA LUMPUR: The Small and Medium Enterprises Association of Malaysia (SAMENTA) is urging the government to enact an Economic Sabotage Act to curb actions by individuals and groups, including politicians, that permanently damage the economy.

Small and Medium Enterprises Association of Malaysia national president Datuk William Ng is pushing the government to enact the Economic Sabotage Act to criminalise acts by individuals and organisations that promote, encourage or carry on any act of sabotage on businesses.

The association also expressed deep concern with recent acts of economic sabotage happening in various states in Malaysia.

“Given the rise of recent arson attacks and organised boycotts of private businesses, an Economic Sabotage Act should also criminalise acts by individuals and organisations that promote, encourage or carry on any act of sabotage on businesses.

“The Act should carry severe custodial penalties commensurate with the long-term repercussions of such acts on our economy and the livelihood of Malaysians,” SAMENTA national president Datuk William Ng said in a statement.

He said that in addition to criminalising the ‘resale’ of government contracts and import permits, an Economic Sabotage Act should also target cartels that monopolise government contracts and manipulate the prices of essential goods.

This would encourage fairer competition, provide consumers with more choice, and lower the costs of doing business and living costs for Malaysians.

The Act was first proposed by the National Centre for Governance, Integrity, and Anti-Corruption in 2018 to address abuses of government contracts and curb the ‘Ali Baba’ phenomenon.

Following a change in government and Covid-19, the Act was never tabled.

“Our current laws do not penalise organised boycotts, nor do they criminalise acts of encouraging such boycotts.

“This has allowed perpetrators, including politicians, to continue doing so with impunity while businesses struggle, employees lose their jobs and livelihoods, and the country’s reputation as a trading nation and investment destination takes a severe beating.

“This must not be allowed to continue,” Ng said.

Convenient store KK Super Mart in Bidor, Perak, was first targeted by a failed Molotov cocktail early morning amid Muslim anger over the sale of socks that had ‘Allah’ embroidered on them.

Following that, a second KK Super Mart branch in Sungai Isap, Kuantan, Pahang, was reportedly firebombed.

KK Mart in Kuching became the third to be firebombed on April 1, whereby a Molotov cocktail caused boxes containing beverages placed on the five-foot way in front of the store to catch fire.

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