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NEWS ADMIN

Mahamad Rodzi Abdul Ghani

DATE

08/03/2005

NEWS PROVIDER

Mahamad Rodzi Abdul Ghani

NEWS SOURCE

The Star

CATEGORY

HEADLINE

Oil palm industry badly hit by labour shortage
Tuesday March 8, 2005 - PETALING JAYA: The slow return of legalIndonesian workers to Malaysia has caused the oil palm industry to loseabout RM60mil a month.

Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) president Md Jafar Abdul Carrim saidthat the "tremendous shortage" of workers had adversely affected theindustry.

"We have not made an evaluation of the impact on the construction industrybut we think it’s much worse, compared to the oil palm industry," he saidwhen addressing problems faced by employers since the amnesty programmebegan in December.

"This will cause ripple effects to the employers’ operations andeventually the economy," he told a press conference at his office hereyesterday.

Md Jafar said the promised "few days" turnaround of workers had notmaterialised and that in the past weeks, only a few workers had returned.

"No operation could survive this kind of shock, and I’m sure the workerswould also not like to be idle."

Md Jafar said employers were not particular about which country theworkers came from as long as they could do the work.

"The situation now is very critical, and that is why we want to offer ourservices to the Home Ministry, to work together in providing directfeedback on problems faced by the employers," he said.

Md Jafar also proposed that the induction course fee be waived for workerswho had been here for many years.