Book associations: government agency should stay out of digital sales platform

PETALING JAYA: The involvement of Majlis Buku Kebangsaan Malaysia (MBKM) as a government agency on behalf of the Dropee Bookuku Digital platform will suppress the open and competitive book market, according to book associations.

The Malaysian Book Entrepreneurs Association (PKBM), Malaysian Booksellers Association (MBA) and Malaysian Federation of Stationery and Booksellers (PPPABM) in a statement released on Saturday April 9 declared MBKM’s involvement in the business -to-business e-commerce platform will harm the book industry.

The organizations said that with many senior government officials leading MBKM, its involvement in Dropee will convince schools and government agency officials to buy into the platform.

“This is indirectly an abuse of power as it gives Dropee an unfair advantage and removes the existing free and open competitive market,” they said.

The organizations added that MBKM – which is under the patronage of the Ministry of Education – should not be directly involved with a private entity like Dropee.

He added that Dropee would have to compete with other digital platforms to enter the market without government protection through MBKM.

“The open market bookstore must continue to prevail to sustain the book ecosystem in Malaysia,” he said.

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