23.03.2020 (The Borneo Post) - KUALA LUMPUR: The Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities yesterday gave further details about timber processing activities that are allowed to resume during the movement control order (MCO) period amid the Covid-19 outbreak.
In a statement yesterday, the ministry said only timber processing activities based on a consignment agreement under an existing contract are permitted, with applications to be made only through the Malaysian Timber Industry Board’s (MTIB) online channels.
It said applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis, and applicants need to submit the contract documents while the relevant quarters have to present the list of workers involved to MTIB within the period, with their movements restricted from their house to their work premises.
Activities involving the palm oil sector will be regulated by the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) and the rubber sector by the Malaysian Rubber Board (LGM), it said.
For the timber sector, all applications by companies need to be submitted to MTIB for consideration by the special committee on exemption from the MCO, it explained.
Processing activities in the timber and oil palm sectors may be conducted only within the required time frame, it added.
Employers are reminded to take the necessary COVID-19 prevention and control measures, including requiring their workers to practise social distancing and to return home straight after work, as well as practise good hygiene habits such as washing their hands with soap or hand santisers.
On March 19, Minister Datuk Dr Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali said several sectors would be given exemption during the MCO period from March 18 to 31, 2020, including the oil palm and rubber industries which contribute to the supply chain by providing essential items such as cooking oil and medical equipment like gloves and catheters.
Mohd Khairuddin also said workers in the timber sector are allowed to resume their work activities in order to fulfil their employers’ existing contract orders, although no further details were given. – Bernama