Malaysian es­tates call for re­turn of for­eign work­ers

Arab News - - Business News -

Malaysian palm plan­ta­tions have urged the gov­ern­ment to let for­eign work­ers re­turn, warn­ing of se­vere dam­age to the palm-oil in­dus­try if it is not granted an ex­emp­tion from a hir­ing freeze. The Malaysian Es­tate Own­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion im­plored the gov­ern­ment to con­sider the sur­vival of the sec­tor and let grower com­pa­nies that have been un­able to re­cruit lo­cally hire for­eign work­ers im­me­di­ately. The palm-oil in­dus­try in Malaysia, the world’s sec­ond­largest pro­ducer and ex­porter of palm oil, faces a wors­en­ing of its chronic la­bor short­age. It re­lies on for­eign­ers for 70 per­cent of its plan­ta­tion work­force and al­most all its field work, es­pe­cially peo­ple from In­done­sia and Bangladesh.

Thou­sands have left the plan­ta­tions for home as bor­ders closed dur­ing the COVID-19 pan­demic. Reuters

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