Report: Malaysia palm oil and glove industries monitored by Canada over alleged forced labour

A spokesman for Canada’s employment and social development department’s labour programme confirmed that Malaysia’s palm oil and glove manufacturing  businesses were under their microscope. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
A spokesman for Canada’s employment and social development department’s labour programme confirmed that Malaysia’s palm oil and glove manufacturing businesses were under their microscope. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

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KUALA LUMPUR, May 26 — Products from Malaysia’s palm oil and glove manufacturing industries could face sanctions and be banned from Canada over allegations of forced labour.

News portal Free Malaysia Today (FMT) reported that this comes after three Malaysian companies were placed on the US Customs and Border Protection’s withhold release order (WRO) list last year. 

Samuelle Carbonneau, a spokesman for Canada’s employment and social development department’s (ESDC) labour programme, confirmed to FMT that Malaysian companies were under their microscope.

“The ESDC-labour programme conducts risk analyses to establish the likelihood that a specific shipment contains goods produced through forced labour,” he said. 

Carbonneau said the US has shared the information of their sanctions to the Canadian authorities.

“Documented evidence of goods produced by forced labour is shared with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) for its consideration.

“The CBSA may use this information to identify and intercept shipments containing goods that are suspected to have been produced by forced labour,” he added.

However, Carbonneau said the ESDC did not release detailed information about its ongoing investigations, adding that it could take six months or longer to conduct a thorough analysis of an allegation due to the complex nature of global multi-tiered supply chains and the strict due diligence checks which have to be applied at every step.

According Canadian government trade data, Canada imported RM1.31 billion worth of gloves from Malaysia last year.

The North American country also imported RM282 million worth of palm oil from Malaysia last year.

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