The Star Online (23/08/2020) - PONTIAN: The Primary Industries and Commodities Ministry has invited jobless Malaysians to work in the palm oil industry.
Deputy Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Jeck Seng said this would help reduce the unemployment rate in Malaysia, which spiked due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said the ministry met with industry players such as IOI Group and Sime Darby Plantation, which offered a minimum wage of RM2,000 to Malaysians.
“More than a million people are expected to lose their jobs by the end of this year,” he said.
“As a proactive measure, the government conducted meetings with palm oil industry players and requested them to hire locals, especially our youths.
“These companies are willing to pay a minimum wage of RM2,000 although our minimum wage rate is RM1,200,” he said.
Wee added that the rise in wages was also part of the companies’ effort to attract youths to work in the sector.
Wee was speaking to reporters after attending a dialogue session on the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certification at Dewan Muafakat Johor Pekan Nenas here yesterday.
He said the palm oil industry was also affected by the Covid-19 pandemic as most of the foreign workers had been sent back to their countries during the movement control order (MCO) period.
“I urge all Malaysians who are currently unemployed to take this opportunity and try filling up the positions,” he said.
On the programme, Wee added that the MSPO certification was important as it would ensure palm oil produced by Malaysia was of high quality and received global recognition.
As of August this year, 85.6% of the total 5.9 million hectares of oil palm plantations had been registered under MSPO, he said.
Read more at https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2020/08/23/jobless-youths-urged-to-work-in-palm-oil-sector