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FMM Press Release: FMM MAFMAG Responses on 2019 Budget Announcement

Kuala Lumpur, November 7, 2018 - The Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers Malaysian Food Manufacturing Group (FMM MAFMAG) views the introduction of sugar tax on drinks and juice with concern. Selective taxation is not an effective policy response to promote a healthier lifestyle among consumers. We support a holistic and collaborative approach to combat obesity and non-communicable diseases (NCDs) which is a far more effective solution than taxation. 

The actual causes of obesity and NCDs in Malaysia should be identified and proposed solutions should undergo rigorous and thorough analysis as well as consultation with all stakeholders. “Selective taxation on food and beverage products is a very limited solution in efforts to promote healthy lifestyle. A collaborative multi-stakeholder approach between the public and private sectors would yield far more effective solutions in combating these public health concerns,” said Nirmalah Thurai, Chairman of FMM MAFMAG.

FMM MAFMAG members have invested considerable effort and resources to promote healthier food choices through supporting the implementation of the Malaysian Healthier Choice Logo (HCL) by the Ministry of Health (MOH). Other industry initiatives include taking significant steps to reduce sugar by reformulating existing products, as well as innovating to introduce healthier product options and those with lower sugar content. In addition, the industry has also worked on providing clearer and more easy-to-find nutritional information through front-of-pack labelling, enabling Malaysians to make more informed food and beverage choices.

The excise tax that has been set in the 2019 Budget is more stringent than the current HCL criteria. We urge the authorities to allow gradual reformulation and a longer grace period to enable industry to better support the government’s public health agenda. FMM MAFMAG is committed to partner the government in their efforts to promote healthy lifestyles.

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The FMM Malaysian Food Manufacturing Group (FMM MAFMAG) is a core subset of the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM). FMM MAFMAG was established in 1984 and comprises of 76 member companies from the food and beverage sector. MAFMAG’s aim is for the Malaysian F&B manufacturing industry to be world-class, sustainable, socially responsible and competing profitably, both domestically and internationally. MAFMAG has been proudly representing the interests of Malaysia’s largest manufacturing sectors and we are dedicated to keeping the industry strong, innovative and profitable.

About FMM
The Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) has been the voice of the Malaysian manufacturing sector since 1968. Representing over 10,000 member companies (3,000 direct and 7,000 indirect) from the manufacturing supply chain, FMM is actively engaged with government and its key agencies at Federal, State and local levels. FMM is also well-linked with international organisations, Malaysian businesses and civil society. Apart from benefitting from FMM’s advocacy, FMM members enjoy value-add services, including training, business networking and trade opportunities as well as regular information updates.

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