The Malaysian government has officially implemented a temporary freeze on all applications to open new hypermarkets in the country, a move hinted at by Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Muhyiddin Yassin earlier this month.

Muhyiddin revealed late on Wednesday that the move was to protect smaller retailers from the competition of larger multinational companies.

The freeze, which is effective immediately, means that local authorities will not consider any applications from local and foreign hypermarket operators to open new stores or expand existing ones

Foreign retailers have been moving into Malaysia rapidly in recent years, a move spearheaded by French retailing behemoth Carrefour.

To read Muhyiddin's initial comments on this move, click here.

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