Publishers worry as paper prices go up

26 May 2022 11:31pm
Publishers are worried as the price of paper increase. - Photo: 123rf
Publishers are worried as the price of paper increase. - Photo: 123rf

SHAH ALAM - Publishers ability to contain the costs of books could be put to a test, as the price of paper rises.

This, Malaysian Book Publishers Association (Mabopa) president Arief Hakim Sani Rahmat said has been the biggest problem faced by publishers.

As prices of raw materials increased significantly, publishers could not mark up the prices of their product as they might lose their customers, he said.

Arief said publishers were worried about the paper price inflation especially when it would affect the education sector.

"This time around, the prices are very high and we are afraid if it would come to a point that the prices of books have to be increased.

"For non-education books, the price would follow the market value, but we are worried about education (books).

"If the price of paper continues to rise until December, this year, we would need to print the educational (school) books before that because the school season will start in March.

"We hope that there is a way to control paper prices or otherwise it will affect the back-to-school season." he told Sinar Daily.

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Arief added that the reading culture among Malaysians have increased significantly especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said according to the National Library, the number of digital lending of books had went up, which showed that Malaysians read a lot during lockdown.

On the issue of sales, he said even during the pandemic, the market for books was stable.

However, he said an e-Sentral survey showed that secondary school students read less compared to primary school students and those at the university level.

Arief also announced that the largest book fair in the country 'Pesta Buku' would be making a comeback after three years of being put on hold due to the pandemic.

He said it would be held at the World Trade Centre (WTC) in Kuala Lumpur, on June 3.

The book fair which would take place for 10 days is open to the public.