New Straits Times

Awaiting Jakarta’s decision on workers for oil palm sector

- Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is awaiting considerat­ion from source countries, namely Indonesia, on the mechanism to bring in foreign workers for the oil palm sector, said the Plantation Industries and Commoditie­s Ministry.

Its deputy minister I, Datuk Seri Dr Wee Jeck Seng, said Indonesia was still considerin­g to send its migrants workers to Malaysia even though it had previously agreed to do so.

“Indonesia’s priority is to finalise the memorandum of understand­ing on the recruitmen­t and protection of Indonesian domestic workers in Malaysia.

“That’s why I said that we depend on foreign workers but also depend on source countries which have agreements to send their workers to our country,” he told the Dewan Rakyat yesterday.

Wee was replying to a supplement­ary question from Nga Kor Ming (DAP-Teluk Intan) on the shortage of foreign workers for the oil palm sector.

Wee said this obstacle was not only a loss to the industry but also to the government’s revenue.

He hoped the process of bringing in foreign workers could be expedited.

To another question from Nga, Wee said the sector was short of 25,471 workers as of August to harvest fresh fruit bunches (FFB).

“With the average productivi­ty for harvester and collector of two tonnes of FFB per day per worker, the total FFB that cannot be harvested amounted to 50,942 (tonnes) per day.

“Taking into account working days of 26 days a month, the estimated FFB that cannot be harvested totalled 1.3 million tonnes per month, equivalent to 15.9 million tonnes per year,” he added.

He said at the average crude palm oil price of RM4,555 per tonne, losses due to the shortage of workers in August would amount to RM14 billion per year.

 ?? ?? Datuk Seri Dr Wee Jeck Seng
Datuk Seri Dr Wee Jeck Seng

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