Foreign workers are seen wearing protective masks in public in Kuala Lumpur on November 28, 2021. – Photo by Malay Mail

KUCHING (August 15): The Ministry of Plantation and Commodity Industries plans to provide a fully digitalized platform to simplify the process of recruiting foreign workers.

Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin said her ministry recognizes that the process of hiring foreign workers needs to be comprehensive and efficient to address the labor shortage.

“Therefore, we all look forward to the coordination process gradually shifting to a fully digitized platform without any possible human interference,” she said in a statement today.

The statement was issued in response to concerns raised by the Malaysia Productivity Corporation in May this year that the country’s oil palm plantation sector could potentially suffer losses of RM21 billion last year and 28 billion additional RMs this year, if foreign workers are not brought into the country immediately.

For a long-term solution, Zuraida said the ministry is encouraging farm owners to provide training and skills upgrading to local workers.

She said they should also practice good labor management, which was important in keeping foreign workers in employment.

“A good labor management policy will not only prevent foreign workers from fleeing, but will also allow employers to circumvent the risk of forced labor and human trafficking which can ultimately disrupt their business operations. long-term export,” she said.

According to her, the ministry will not compromise on issues related to forced labor in the country.

Zuraida pledged that Malaysia would continue to adhere to guidelines set by the International Labor Organization (ILO).

She said the ministry will continue to support the National Action Plan on Forced Labor which has been developed with the aim of addressing and eradicating the problem of forced labor in the country.

She said the ministry is confident that the efforts being undertaken now can help mobilize the “Global Movement to Defend the Benefits of Palm Oil” campaign.

The campaign aims, among other things, to explore and enter new markets and increase Malaysian palm oil exports, she added.

Zuraida said the ministry welcomes Indonesia’s agreement on the decision to re-allow entry of its workers into Malaysia, effective August 1.

The issue of the shortage of foreign workers has arisen following the closure of national borders to curb the spread of Covid-19, affecting the harvesting process on farms across Malaysia.


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