OPENING SPEECH BY Y.Bhg DATUK SERI HISHAMUDIN MD YUNUS CHAIRMAN OF THE MALAYSIA COMPETITION COMMISSION (MyCC)
(TO BE READ ON BEHALF, BY DATO’ JAGJIT SINGH A/L BANT SINGH)
FOR PROF. RICHARD WHISH LECTURE SERIES ORGANISED BY THE MALAYSIA COMPETITION COMMISSION (MyCC)
ON 14TH JANUARY 2020 AT ALOFT HOTEL, KUALA LUMPUR
YANG BERHOMAT DATUK SERI SAIFUDDIN NASUTION ISMAIL
MINISTER OF DOMESTIC TRADE AND CONSUMER AFFAIRS
YANG BERUSAHA MR ISKANDAR ISMAIL
CEO OF THE MALAYSIA COMPETITION COMMISSION
EMERITUS PROFESSOR RICHARD WHISH
OF KING’s COLLEGE, LONDON
ADVOCATE & SOLICITOR, OSBORNE CLARKE
MEMBERS OF THE COMMISSION
MEMBERS OF THE MEDIA
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN
Good afternoon and welcome to the Malaysia Competition Commission – Professor Richard Whish Lecture Series!
- First and foremost, I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to the staff members of Malaysia Competition Commission (MyCC) for all their hard work in ensuring the success of this remarkable event and I do not use the word remarkable lightly. Reason being is that we are honoured to have with us here, in the flesh, our very own competition “Guru”, Professor Richard Whish from King’s College London together with Mr Harikumar Pillay from Osborne Clarke. Ladies and gentlemen, please give them a big round of applause.
- It goes without saying, an event becomes a success only if participants arrive. They are the lifeblood of this event. Thus, we do express our sincere thanks to all of you who have come over to be with us today. This event marked a bigger, better and brighter celebration of a new decade for Malaysia. Your active participation will be the success of this event.
- I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the top brasses from Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs – Ybhg Datuk Muez Abd Aziz, Secretary General of KPDNHEP along with Deputy Secretary Generals of KPDNHEP - Ybrs Dr Alauddin Sidal, and Ybhg Datuk Rostam Affendi Dato’ Salleh. We could not have done this without the relentless supports from the ministry along with other government agencies and universities. Rest assured, we will take your support forward in the utmost manner.
- Above all else, we would like to express our utmost gratitude to our Minister, Yang Berhormat Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail for gracing today’s occasion. Please allow me, at the outset, to express my sincere appreciation for your presiding over this event and for the commendable efforts you have made towards the competition law. I vividly remember your speech during the tabling of bill motion called “Rang Undang-Undang Suruhanjaya Persaingan 2010”.
- You raised concerns on how the government can ensure the execution of the competition law could solve conflicts between industries and socioeconomics policies in Malaysia. You were also concerned on how the government can help to liberalise the market by encouraging more competitors that will eventually accelerate the country’s economic growth. That alone shows how committed you are in upholding the competition law. It will be an understatement for us to say that we are blessed to have you spearheading the Ministry as you are not only understanding the spirit of the competition but also encourage us to do more.
Ladies and gentlemen,
- I believe our esteemed emcee has introduced to you our experts for today none other than Professor Whish and Mr Harikumar. I can’t how pleased I am to be in the same in room with a world-renowned legal academic like you, Professor. Your acclaimed co-written book with David Bailey has surely helped many practitioners. Not to mention, your profound influence on the development of various competition laws and soft law guidance. What a pleasure to have you here.
- To Mr Harikumar, on behalf of MyCC, I thank you once again for coming here. Many of us here are thrilled to hear your experience as a former Director of the Enforcement Division from the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS), one of the competition commission that MyCC look up to.
Ladies and gentlemen,
- The promotion of competition for the welfare of businesses, consumers and economics are indeed the main beacon of interest in MyCC. This has been manifested in MyCC’s major achievements last year. Let me start with enforcement activities in MyCC as there were surge in numbers of complaints, thus resulting into more investigations.
- In March last year, we have successfully acted on the first-ever bid rigging case in Malaysia by eight (8) IT contractors who were allegedly colluded with each other in a public procurement. As a result, we have sent a strong signal to enterprises not to participate in anti-competitive collusions in any shapes or forms, especially in public procurement. We have also accepted an official Undertaking from Sabah Tourist Guides Association (STGA) to rescind the fixing of tourist guide’s professional fees set by them. All of the members promised not to hold any form of discussion in relation to the tourist guide’s fees and halting implementation of the said fees.
- Next, I’m sure many of us here have had heard the Proposed Decision issues by us against the popular e-hailing company - Grab for provisionally abused its dominant position by imposing several restrictive clauses on its drivers. We are glad such an announcement has piqued public’s interest on competition issues. We have also issued a Non-Infringement Decision against Coca-cola where we have concluded that Coca-cola and supermarkets or hypermarkets were not involved in any anti-competitive agreement that would likely
to cause a negative effect on the market
- Finally, in last year alone, we have concluded oral representations for insurance case, DagangNet, and IT vendors. This is a testament of our relentless efforts in enforcing the Competition Act 2010.
- Apart from enforcement and legal actions, we have also signed Memorandum of Understandings with six (6) strategic partners from universities and government agencies to further promote awareness of competition law via education, research, and shared expertise. On top of that, we have also published guidelines on intellectual property rights and competition law, along with the report of Market Review on Food Sector Under Competition Act 2010 which highlighted five (5) selected food items aimed to unbundle the rationale of the significant increase in price of the items. These efforts have significantly increased public awareness on competition law.
- However, as the awareness of competition increases, many have acknowledged the role of MyCC with more people and agencies are coming to us for many reasons. Thereby, MyCC just like any other organisations is also facing some challenges. One of the prevalence challenges that we are experiencing now is the resource challenge, particularly human resources. The complaints, investigations, and other duties of MyCC combined with the upcoming incorporation of mergers & acquisitions in the Act will certainly require diligent and detailed preparation, strategic planning, and proper execution. This is also important for MyCC to grow its human resources in order to cope with the increasing tasks. As for now, we have been providing trainings in and out of Malaysia including sending them off to competition commission abroad such as European Commission, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), and “Komisi Pengawas Persaingan Usaha” (KPPU) in Indonesia. Some foreign agencies had also sent their experienced officers to MyCC including from Australia, Korea and Japan.
- We have also awarded our Members of the Commission with scholarship in accordance with MyCC Strategic Human Capital Plan. However, there are still much work to be done. Nevertheless, we will keep looking at all options for ensuring MyCC’s capabilities remains adequate. Therefore, we are making a plea to everyone to support and provide assistance in any shape or form to us. We believe the government also shared the same sentiments. Just imagine, the more support you could give us, the more we could achieve for you in return
Ladies and gentlemen,
- Today’s event is the right time for us to gather the latest developments and updates on competition law. This event also creates an excellent opportunity for us to interact with our experts and discuss on emerging issues such as digital economy, bid rigging, leniency and mergers.
- Without wasting any more time. I would like to leave one final note. The road to reinforcing the competition law is paved with challenges. But with the support from the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs and the will power of the people, we believe that our efforts in advocating a healthy competition in the country’s marketplace will prevail.
- I invite businesses to come forward and forge proactive partnership with us in building competitive markets and a robust compliance culture in the country.
- I conclude and hope that the discussions today will bring MyCC closer to our stakeholders and help us in honing both our enforcement as well as advocacy instruments, so that we can leverage the benefits of liberalised markets in terms of higher efficiency and greater consumer welfare.