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Sarawak needs to outsource workers from more countries for oil palm industry

Tuesday, 26 April 2022

Dr Felix Moh

Dr Felix Moh

KUCHING, April 16: Sarawak should relax its foreign worker recruitment policy to allow more source countries for oil palm plantations, as putting all eggs in one basket may not be wise anymore.

Sarawak Oil Palm Plantation Owners Association (SOPPOA) chief executive officer Dr Felix Moh Mee Ho said Sarawak is the biggest State with oil palm planted areas starting this year, but the industry lost about RM2 billion in revenue last year as a result of not enough foreign workers for harvesting.

Presently, Sarawak only allows foreign workers to be sourced from Indonesia for oil palm plantations.

“There are many indications that Indonesians are not coming to seek employment in Malaysia anytime soon due to restrictions imposed by their government. Prolonged delay of Indonesia workers is detrimental to Sarawak’s oil palm plantation.

“Putting all of one’s egg in one basket may not be wise anymore especially when the source of workers are coming from the country which is in direct competition with Malaysia in terms of palm oil market share,” he said in a statement today.

Dr Moh further said West Malaysia has a number of countries to source workers for oil palm plantations and thus, Sarawak should follow suit in outsourcing from other countries, for instance, Bangladesh.

He also mentioned that Malaysia’s oil palm plantations undeniably still needs foreign workers for many years as suitable automated equipment for harvesting is not likely to be available in a short period of time. — DayakDaily