MALAYSIA, facing a nationwide cement shortage, has fixed a meeting of officials and cement producers for today to tackle the problem. Works Minister S. Samy Vellu, who will chair the meeting, said the cement shortage had badly hit contractors of public infrastructure projects and other private building ventures. It has also led to prices of the building material being sold above the government-controlled rate of M$9.90 (about HK$30.19) per bag. Officials said rapid development of the country had resulted in a shortage of 220,000 tonnes of cement this year. The government recently approved a 10 per cent increase in cement prices to encourage local producers to boost production.