KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 11 -- The Forest Research Institute Malaysia Product Certification Service (FRIM PCS) certification requirement is aimed at increasing the capacity and quality of furniture manufactured by Bumiputera furniture companies.
The certification is a government initiative under the Bumiputera Furniture Industry Empowerment Programme.
In a statement today, Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Wira Amiruddin Hamzah said the move would enable Bumiputera furniture entrepreneurs to penetrate international markets, while simultaneously guaranteeing the quality of the furniture supplied to the government.
He was responding to a press statement by the Malay Economic Action Council alleging that the Ministry of Finance (MoF) had acted unfairly towards 33 Bumiputera furniture companies which had been dropped from the list of companies on the Centralised Contract Panel (KPB).
“The MoF is very concerned about the appeal from members of the association who have not completed their product testing process, thus the ministry has decided to extend the FRIM PCS certification deadline to Dec 31, 2019.
“However, the grace period does not apply to the five companies which had not submitted their product for FRIM PCS certification,” he said.
However, Amiruddin said if the companies were still interested to be listed in the KPB, they can appeal to the MoF for consideration, subject to the companies having obtained FRIM PCS certification before Dec 31.
On June 22, 2018, the ministry had listed 87 Bumiputera furniture manufacturers as panels under the KPB, valid from July 1, 2018 until June 30, 2021.
However, the companies were required to obtain the FRIM PCS certification before June 30, 2019, failing which, the companies would be automatically removed from the list.
MoF said 54 companies had obtained their FRIM PCS certification within the stipulated period.
As for the remaining 33 companies which had failed to obtain their certification within the period, the ministry said to-date, only 13 had succeeded, 15 were still in the testing process and another five had not submitted their application at all.
Amiruddin said FRIM was appointed as the regulator as it is an internationally recognised as a product certification body by the Furniture Industry Research Association and the Department of Standards Malaysia.
To ensure that the industry is ready for the certification requirement, the MoF, together with FRIM, has held 17 engagement sessions with participating entrepreneurs including the Bumiputera Furniture Industry Association members.
“Hence the MoF appreciates the cooperation shown by the majority of the manufacturers who have obtained their FRIM PCS certification within the stipulated period which prove that the Bumiputera entrepreneurs involved were ready to upgrade their products to a higher standard,” he added.