Malaysia Steel Association concerned about heavy tactics used during raid against steel companies
By Chen Shaua Fui / theedgemarkets.com | March 3, 2016 : 4:56 PM MYT
KUALA LUMPUR (March 3): The Malaysia Steel Association (MSA) today expressed concern over the raids by the authorities on steel importers, saying they might tarnish the reputation of these companies before the due process of law.
In a statement today, MSA said it views with concern that these companies were raided by the authorities who were heavily armed and some of these companies have had their bank accounts frozen and their staff had their mobile phones confiscated.
"As bona fide manufacturers, the steel companies have been abiding by the import rules and regulations, and will continue to cooperate with the authorities.
"The authorities deploying such heavy-handed tactics, which have received wide national press coverage, will tarnish the reputation of these companies before the due process of the law can be accorded to them," it said.
"Such a high profile operation will unjustly exacerbate the negative sentiments towards the industry," MSA added.
The association noted that the Malaysian steel industry has contributed greatly towards nation building in the last 60 years, adding that to date the steel industry has saved the country billions of ringgit in foreign exchange by substituting imports with locally produced steel products.
On Feb 25, The Edge Financial Daily reported that Customs officers had raided more than 10 steel companies, including four public-listed entities in the end of February, as the authorities stepped up efforts to curb illegal imports of steel products, particularly hot-rolled coils.
To date, listed steelmakers such as Hiap Teck Venture Bhd, Ann Joo Resources Bhd, Wah Seong Corp Bhd, Amalgamated Industrial Steel Bhd and Southern Steel Bhd have come out to confirm that their subsidiaries have been raided by the Royal Malaysian Customs Department.