KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) _ To reduce cash-draining imports, Malaysia will monitor major construction projects to make sure they use as many local products as possible, a news report said.

The Ministry of International Trade and Industry will oversee the plan, said the ministry's chief, Rafidah Aziz. The government has already agreed to the move.

Rafidah said the Housing and Local Government Ministry had made it compulsory for the construction sector to use 60 percent local products.

The plan reflects Malaysia's efforts to cut imports, which have become much more expensive with the nearly 40 percent depreciation of the country's currency, the ringgit, since last July.

Rafidah added that the ministry was willing to act as a go-between for construction companies looking for local materials.