Plantation Industries Ministry: RM36m wage subsidy fund to boost downstream rubber industry in Malaysia

A worker collects raw latex from a rubber tree at a plantation in Pahang January 12, 2016. — AFP pic
A worker collects raw latex from a rubber tree at a plantation in Pahang January 12, 2016. — AFP pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 5 — The Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities (MPIC) has provided a wage subsidy of RM36 million to encourage the downstream rubber industry players to recruit local workers.

MPIC Minister Datuk Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali said the exponential demand for rubber gloves, triggered by the onslaught of the Covid-19 pandemic since Jan 2020, has resulted in the higher demand for workers in the industry.

“Based on estimates by the Malaysian Rubber Glove Manufacturers Association (Margma), the industry needs to expand its workforce by 34.7 per cent, or 25,000 new workers,” he said in a statement today.

Mohd Khairuddin said last year, exports of Malaysian rubber products increased by 73.9 per cent, contributing RM40.97 billion to the country’s revenue, driven by the high demand from the medical and health sectors in the battle against the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Currently, rubber gloves account for almost 90 per cent of the country’s rubber products exports revenue, with Malaysian rubber gloves commanding more than 60 per cent of the global market,” he said.

Exports to the United States, which is the main market for Malaysian rubber gloves, has increased by almost 84 per cent, from RM6.47 billion in 2019 to RM11.89 billion in 2020.

Meanwhile, the demand for the products has also increased in other markets, as exports to Germany increased by 82 per cent, Japan (84 per cent), United Kingdom (201 per cent) and China (146 per cent).

Khairuddin said the ministry will stay committed to facilitating and monitoring operations in the rubber glove industry so that it will remain operational and in compliance with the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) set by the National Security Council during the movement control order. — Bernama

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