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
- further liberalisation measures to the services sector
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 played host to the country’s first Competition Law Conference in September as part of its ongoing awareness program, focussing on new standards for businesses in Malaysia and build public knowledge on the Competition Act 2010.
- The Commission also announced several sectors that are under investigation and conducted a nationwide public consultation on its Proposed Block Exemption Order for shipping linear agreements to ensure interests of stakeholders were taken into account.
- MyCC also conducted a study on price-fixing practices by professional bodies in Malaysia and relevant legislation related to price-fixing and professional bodies.
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.
- The Department of Standards Malaysia (Standards Malaysia) initiated the National Compliance Programme (NSCP) to raise awareness, buy-in and the use of standards by industries.
- The department, in collaboration with SME Corporation Malaysia, also established a One-Stop-Centre in November that serves as a coordinating unit to provide information to key stakeholders that include implementing agencies, trade associations, industries and the public.
- Standards Malaysia appointed the Malaysian Timber Industry Board (MTIB) in August to develop Malaysian Standards for timber and timber-derived products; The Malaysian Institute of Chemistry was appointed in December to develop and promote standards for chemicals and materials industry.
- Standards Malaysia has also accredited 61 new Conformity Assessment Bodies (CABs), ensuring these bodies are competent and internationally recognised in relevant fields.
- A communication platform to regularise information on the Standards Malaysia and its ongoing efforts was established during the year.
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.
- During the year, the Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-baed Indsutry consolidated three programmes under a single banner the Malaysia Good Agriculture Practice (MyGAP), ensuring Malaysian produce gain better recognition in both domestic and international markets.
- A total of 2,400 farms in Malaysia were certified under MyGAP.
- 32 farms in Lok Butun, Sabah adopted an indigenous standard for seaweed cultivation (MS2467: 2012) during the year.
- The MS2528:2013 standard on dried seeweed from Carageenophyte was approved on March 11. A collaborative effort between the Department of Fisheries and the private sector, the standard sets out to specify the minimum acceptable standard such as moisture content, impurities and compliance to food hygiene. All three factors are required to achieve industry-grade dried seaweed for carrageenean processing.
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
- Capacity-building programmes were carried out to encourage accreditation of private hospitals by the Malaysian Society for Quality in Health (MSQH) during the year. Through these initiatives, 15 private hospitals were accredited by MSQH in 2013, bring the total number of accredited private hospitals to 42.
- 25 public hospitals were also accredited in 2013, bringing the total number of accredited public hospitals to 112.
- 436 premises were certified under the Makanan Selamat Tanggungjawab Industri programme (MeSTI).
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
- In 2013, 76 products were endorsed under the MyHijau programme, which facilitated collaboration between Malaysian Green Technology Corporation (MGTC) and the Certification Bodies in growing the green industry.
- MGTC also developed five green product criteria documents, providing industry with five key criteria that conform to sustainable green standards.
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 Cyber Security initiative saw 121 CNIISs certified under the Information Security Management System (ISMS) during the year.
- 39 products have been certified under the Malaysian Common Criteria Certification and Evaluation Scheme as of December.
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.
- A National Policy on the Development and Implementation of Regulations was launched by the Chief Secretary to the Government in July, for a more conducive and competitive business environment.
- Under the new Policy, all Federal Government regulators must undertake the Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA) and present the Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) in the creation of new regulations or regulation reviews that relate or impact businesses, investments and trade upon assessment by the MPC.