KUALA LUMPUR (June 7): The Malaysian Associated Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MAICCI) has called on the Government to seriously look into the large presence of foreign traders at sales carnivals around the country which is affecting the livelihood of local businessmen.
MAICCI president Datuk N Gobalakrishnan said it was a long-standing issue but no action had been taken against the traders who came from India, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
“We are not against them but question their status as traders here. Any trader who has a local business must register with the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM), must have a business premises licence and pay an import tax.
"But foreign traders are joining local sales and shopping carnivals without going through the process of obtaining licences and paying higher taxes. This is clearly unfair to local traders,” he told a press conference at the MAICCI office here today.
Gobalakrishnan is believed to be referring to the Global Indian Festival Carnival organised by Agenda Suria Communication Sdn Bhd being held at the Mid Valley Exhibition Centre here, and other such carnivals usually held ahead of Deepavali in many towns.
Such carnivals seem to have a high participation of foreign traders who sell their goods at much lower prices as they are wholesale traders.
Gobalakrishnan said MAICCI would be meeting Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad soon to discuss the matter, adding that a memorandum on it would also be handed over to the relevant Ministries.
He said that under existing regulations, foreign traders (who were not registered) could only exhibit goods but were not allowed to sell them, so they seek local entrepreneurs through business matching.
"This is an issue that has caused much dissatisfaction among traders here. MAICCI's efforts are not only to protect local Indian traders, but also their Malay and Chinese counterparts who are just as affected by the presence of the 'illegal' foreign traders,” he said.
The Government must take appropriate action to safeguard the welfare of local traders according to the law," he said.