Plantation Industries Ministry to continue efforts to recruit 32,000 oil palm fruit harvesters, says minister

A worker collects palm oil fruit after being harvested at a plantation in Kampung Bukit Hijau, Kuala Selangor March 14, 2018. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim
A worker collects palm oil fruit after being harvested at a plantation in Kampung Bukit Hijau, Kuala Selangor March 14, 2018. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim

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KUALA TERENGGANU, April 11 — The Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities (KPPK) will continue its efforts to promote recruitment information and advertisements to hire 32,000 oil palm fruit harvesters as soon as possible.

Minister Datuk Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali said the response from Malaysians was not encouraging despite the many career carnivals it had organised and large-scale advertisements it had put out including through the JobsMalaysia website.

He said Malaysians might be discouraged to apply for the job as they might not have the correct information and assumed that oil palm fruit harvesters could only make between RM1,000 and RM2,000 per month which did not commensurate with the hard work.

“It is not accurate. This career can provide an income of up to RM3,000 and workers are provided with comfortable accommodation with basic facilities and children’s education is also taken care of. At a time when Malaysians lack jobs (post-Covid-19 pandemic) this is the opportunity we need to take up immediately because the ministry wants to give priority to local people to fill this vacancy,” he said.

He said this to reporters after attending the ‘Malaysia Prihatin’ programme at the Kuala Nerus parliamentary level here today.  Also present was State Local Government, Housing, Health and Environment Committee chairman Dr Alias Razak.

He said if Malaysians were still not interested in filling the vacancy, the ministry had to allow plantation companies to bring in 32,000 foreign workers to ensure the harvesting work in oil palm plantations was not affected.

Mohd Khairuddin said to do so, the plantation companies would have to fulfil strict requirements to curb the Covid-19 outbreak.

“The matter is still under negotiation and no decision has been made. However, the ministry still hopes that the locals will take this opportunity (to fill the vacancy), “he said.

Shortage of workers in the plantation sector, especially in harvesting work, occurred after many foreign workers returned to their home countries when Covid-19 hit and they could not return to Malaysia due to the closures of the country’s borders.

Mohd Khairuddin said Malaysians who are interested to fill the vacancy could obtain further information from the official websites of the ministry, plantation companies as well as via the JobsMalaysia website. — Bernama

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