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Competition among industry players best for customers, says economist

Publish date: Mon, 27 Mar 2023, 10:36 AM

KUALA LUMPUR: Competition will encourage companies to offer the best services at reasonable prices for consumers, says Putra Business Faculty Associate Professor Dr Ahmed Razman Abdul Latiff.

The Master of Business Administration (MBA) Programme director said that as such, the practice of monopolies in the country needs to be refined to provide opportunities for competing industry players to improve the efficiency of their services.

"Normally, companies with monopoly status will tend to raise and maintain high prices to customers who have no other options and this causes the wealth and profits of a company not optimised for many quarters," he said.

"So theoretically, if there is a lot of supply, the price of the goods or services will drop and this will force the companies involved to be more efficient in trying to get their respective customers, while also giving benefits and choices to consumers," said Ahmed Razman.

However, Ahmed Razman added that the government needs to study the readiness of industry players, including the management and financial capabilities of companies so that they can offer services comparable to companies holding monopolies.

This, he said, is because there are some industries that need time to break the monopoly, especially those involving the use of technology.

"If we want to break a monopoly, there must be a replacement. So, do we have the organisations that are able to offer the same goods and services that the monopoly offers," he said.

"I see that we have the ability as there are many (organisations) that have the potential to create healthy competition, we just have to look at various angles and types of industries," added Ahmad Razman.

Last Friday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was quoted as saying that the government was reviewing all existing monopolies in the country as a measure to provide better and fairer services to the people at a reasonable cost.

He told a press conference in Jeddah, at the end of his three-day official visit to Saudi Arabia, that all ministries had been instructed to study the feasibility of its implementation so that there would be a fair assessment of the issue.

Meanwhile, Tun Abdul Razak University ecpnomist Prof Barjoyai Bardai said there are several situations that need to be taken into account before the government wants to end the monopoly, including the importance of an organisation as a monitoring body.

Barjoyai is of the view that it is important to avoid misuse of power, especially involving quality regulators and the level of service offered by new companies.

"Organisations that are closely related to law enforcement efforts need to be looked at carefully because they have experienced experts and new companies cannot arbitrarily appoint ordinary individuals to monitor the services offered.

"For example, people don't like Puspakom because of the long waiting period and frivolous procedures even though the cost is not burdensome, but a new company that will provide such services cannot take lightly the issue of approving vehicle inspections just because they want to attract more customers," he said. - Bernama

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