The Competition, Standards and Liberalisation (CSL) Strategic Reform Initiative
(SRI) seeks to develop an efficient and competitive business environment and culture
that support Malaysia’s goal of becoming a high-income nation by 2020.
Championed by the Ministry of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism for Competition,
the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) for Standards and the
Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) for liberalisation, this SRI’s
efforts have recently centred on:
- implementing competition legislation;
- enhancing the adoption and usage of standards and best practices; and
- liberalising services sub-sectors announced in the 2012 Budget.
The Competition component aims to build a strong culture of competition in the country
by promoting efficient production of goods and services at competitive prices, while
supporting innovation and development.
In an effort to strengthen competitiveness in the Malaysian market, the Government
enacted the Competition Act 2010, which was enforced in January 2012.
Initiatives falling under the umbrella of Competition are undertaken by Malaysia
Competition Commission (MyCC) and the Competition Appeal Tribunal.
Malaysia Competition Commission
Established in April 2011, MyCC was responsible for positioning the building blocks
for the enforcement of the Competition Act on 1 January, 2012.
The Commission’s responsibilities also include:
Competition Appeal Tribunal
- receiving and investigating complaints;
- issuing decisions; and
- undertaking market reviews to assess the nature and level of competition within
industries and sectors.
The Competition Appeal Tribunal represents another component of the Competition
Act 2010, and was established to hear appeals on MyCC’s decisions. Its establishment
was announced by the Prime Minister in May 2012 with the appointment of its President
and seven Members of the Tribunal. The Tribunal is composed of experts from the
legal, business and economic fields.
The Competition Appeal Tribunal has exclusive jurisdiction to review any decision
made by MyCC. Similar to a subordinate court under the Subordinate Courts Act 1948,
the Tribunal is empowered to summon parties to its proceedings, and procure and
receive evidence. The Tribunal’s decisions are final and binding.
- MyCC completed its first case and issued a Final Decision on the case, involving
the Cameron Highlands Floriculturist Assocation (CHFA). The CHFA was found to have
contravened Section 4(2) of the Act; in respect of engaging in an anti-competitive
agreement to increase the prices of flowers by 10%.
- The Commission also conducted 36 advocacy sessions for various stakeholders, including
small- and medium-sized enterprises.
- It also issued four guidelines as public reference on how the Act should be interpreted.
The guidelines comprise:
- Guidelines on Market Definition
- Guidelines on Anti-Competitive Agreements
- Guidelines on Complaints Procedures
- Guidelines on Abuse of Dominant Position
- MyCC undertook a market review on the domestic broiler market.
- The Competition Appeal Tribunal heard and concluded its first appeal, comprising
the CHFA case.
The standards value chain covers the development, usage and enforcement of standards
in Malaysian goods and services. The development of standards falls under the purview
of STANDARDS MALAYSIA, an agency under MOSTI, which works with SIRIM as the standards
development agency, and other standards writing organisations.
Various agencies such as the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI),
the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA), Ministry of Health (MoH), Ministry of Domestic
Trade, Consumerism and Cooperatives and the Energy Commission are also involved
in promoting standards usage, with the enforcement of mandatory standards is undertaken
by the respective regulatory bodies.
Measures on standards are undertaken through i) cross-cutting initiatives and ii)
across NKEAs (sectoral initiatives).
Cross-cutting initiatives focus on developing an appropriate eco-system for the
development and usage of standards across industry.
- Research was conducted for the development of standards for raw dried seaweed (RDS).
The certification for seaweed farms with seaweed cultivation standards was developed.
- MARDI undertook research on heat and cold treatment, irradiation and fumigation
towards creating pest-free produce for export. Tests have begun on fruit fly tolerance
levels, with the next stage to see small-scale trials on starfruit, papaya, pineapple,
rambutan and jackfruit.
- A mini-lab was held by the MoA in November on agriculture farm certification. The
mini-lab recommended a rebranding of the Skim Amalan Ladang Malaysia (SALM) scheme
to MyGAP, which is recognised internationally. It also proposed to increase the
number of certified laboratories from one to four and provide more resources to
increase the number of farms certified.
- MoH initiated the MeSTI (Makanan Selamat Tanggungjawab Industri) rebranding scheme,
developed to facilitate the compliance with the 2009 Food Hygiene Regulations by
the micro, small and medium-scale food industries.
- The Good Aquaculture Practice (GAqP) farm certification was reviewed to enhance
the certification, which will be used to support EPP 4 of the Agriculture NKEA.
The EPP focuses on the production of high-value species, such as sea bass, grouper,
and tilapia for export.
- Accelerated timelines were applied to all new standards developed during the year.
- The Standards Malaysia Act 1996 was amended to support the appointment of more Standards
Development Agencies (SDA). STANDARDS MALAYSIA is targeting to appoint two SDAs
in 2013. The SDA Accreditation Criteria was also drafted and endorsed by the National
- The Standards Utilisation Dashboard was developed to provide a picture on the utilisation
of standards by Entry Point Projects.
- STANDARDS MALAYSIA commissioned studies on standards governance, usage and test
facilities. The review of its standards governance structure is expected for completion
at the beginning of 2013.
- The Medical Device Act 2012 was developed for the registration of medical devices
which meet standards. The Act will be implemented in line with standards measures
for the Agriculture NKEA. The Act was also supplemented by the establishment of
the Medial Device Authority (MDA). The MDA will address public health and safety
issues with respect to medical devices and implement measures as outlined by the
Medical Device Act. It will also undertake product registration and licensing of
- 347 new standards were established, including the Seaweed Cultivation Code of Good
Practice (MS 2467:2012) and the Pineapple Planting Material Standards (MS 2527:
2012) applied under the Agriculture NKEA.
The development and usage of standards for the Agriculture NKEA focus on benchmarking
Malaysia’s agricultural practices against international standards such as
Good Agriculture Practice (GAP). These efforts are centred on standards usage in
areas including aquaculture, premium fruit production and processed food.
- Please refer to Highlights for Cross-Cutting Initiatives.
The enforcement of standards in the Healthcare NKEA aims to strengthen the competitiveness
of the healthcare sector by ensuring hospitals, laboratories and research facilities
are audited and certified and their accreditation status is maintained to sustain
high quality standards.
In view of this, MoH has implemented an accreditation programme for MoH hospitals,
overseen by the Malaysian Society of Health for Quality in Health (MSQH).
Business Services NKEA
- The Healthcare NKEA adopted six medical device standards and implemented eight mandatory
standards. This brings the number of standards adopted since 2005 to 381, with another
14 standards currently under development. Mandatory device registration to ensure
safety and quality of devices is targeted to begin in October 2014.
The Business Services NKEA encompasses a large number of industries and professions
that support the growth of the economy. The focus on standards for this NKEA is
to establish the framework for green labelling and the certification of cyber security
facilities and products.
The development of the green industry has been driven by growing awareness and demand
for sustainably produced products. Green labelling certifies that a product meets
quality and export requirements while providing consumer assurance of sustainable
The CSL SRI for cyber security will initially focus on standards required to protect
sensitive and valuable information and services. The initial thrust of this initiative
is to ensure that Critical National Information Infrastructures (CNIIs) comply with
information security standards such as ISO/IEC 27001 [Information Security Management
System (ISMS) and Common Criteria (CC)]. The lead agencies for this are the National
Security Council (MKN) and Cyber Security Malaysia (CSM), an agency under MOSTI.
- The national eco-label scheme, MyHijau Label, for green labeling and certification
in Malaysia was launched by the Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water (KeTTHA)
in October. The green labeling initiative has also seen:
- The adoption of 37 product standards;
- 40 licenses granted to companies producing green products; and
- 293 products green-label certified.
- KeTTHA and the Malaysian Green Technology Corporation (MGTC) also organised a mini-lab
on green labelling in November; focused on increasing the number of product standards
and companies that produce green products. The mini-lab recommended MGTC as the
central depository of green standards, responsible for overseeing the framework
for green standards development, bringing in more products under the MyHijau Label
and targeting at least two scheme owners under the MyHijau Label scheme.
- The cyber security initiative saw 43 of 200 CNIISs certified under the ISMS. Certification
of the remaining 164 CNIIs is expected in 2013, while CSM will target companies’
compliance to Common Criteria standards up to Evaluation Assurance Level 2-4.
In an effort to strengthen local capabilities and enhance capacity through greater
foreign investment and technology, Malaysia has undertaken a policy of progressive
liberalisation. The liberalisation process is co-ordinated, monitored and guided
by the Malaysian Services Development Council (MSDC), chaired by the Minister of
International Trade and Industry.
Budget 2012 identified 17 sub-sectors to be liberalised in stages, which later increased
to 18 with the inclusion of quantity surveying services.
Following the liberalisation of 15 sub-sectors in 2012, the architecture, engineering
and quantity surveying services are expected to be ready for liberalisation in 2013,
pending amendments to their respective legislation.
To further improve competitiveness in the services sector, this initiative has also
overseen a study on domestic regulations in four sub-sectors: health travel, technical
and vocational education and training (TVET), private higher education and renewable energy.
Following the study, an action plan will be formulated to address any regulatory
concerns in the sub-sectors and will be implemented in 2013.
The Government will also consider the liberalisation of additional sub-sectors or
increasing the depth of liberalisation within the existing sub-sectors. In this
respect, the Government will continue engaging stakeholders to address their concerns
to communicate the crucial role of liberalisation.
- Liberalisation was completed for 15 out of the 17 sub-sectors initially announced
in Budget 2012. The 15 liberalised sub-sectors comprise:
- accounting/taxation services
- courier services
- dental specialists
- departmental and specialty stores
- incineration services
- legal services
- international schools
- technical and vocational schools
- technical and vocational schools for special needs
- skills training centres
- private higher education with university status
- private hospitals
- medical specialists
- telecommunications (Applications Services Providers)
- telecommunications (Network Services Providers/Network Facilities Providers)