PADANG BESAR – The government has been urged to simplify the process of bringing in workers for the plantation sector, especially the oil palm industry, in order to boost its growth.
Risda chairman Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin said the lack of workers in this sector had caused huge losses to about 600,000 plantation operators as the fruits could not be harvested or were collected late.
“I urge the Home Ministry which controls the hiring of foreign workers to allow myEG and other parties to issue permits to the relevant parties to bring in workers for the plantation sector.
“The cost of bringing them in could be reduced to RM5,000 compared to using the services of myEG and other parties which charge RM9,000,” Zahidi told reporters after presenting “Back to School 2018” contributions at the Padang Besar parliamentary constituency level, here, today.
Zahidi, who is also Padang Besar member of parliament, said only those involved in the plantation sector knew which workers were suitable for them.
He said the oil palm industry which was among the country’s biggest commodities worth billions of ringgit each year, would face problems if the government did not give the matter serious attention.
“The problem includes the campaign by the European community to block the export of palm oil to the European Union countries since three years ago.
“In the face of this problem, we have to be united and through the National Blue Ocean Strategy, Risda has joined forces with Felda, Felcra and the Malaysian Palm Oil Board as well as oil palm plantation companies to conduct a response campaign,” he said.
Zahidi said when the EU campaign started three years ago, it had the support of 200 companies, but today, more than 2,000 companies had joined it.