The Malaysian Palm Oil Association (MPOA) has appealed to the government to approve the recruitment of more workers from Bangladesh due to the labour shortage in the industry.
“Indonesian workers are not coming in and they are not going to come in anytime soon. We need to open up to Bangladeshi workers, they will be our saviour,” said MPOA chief executive Datuk Mohamad Nageeb Wahab.
“I hope the government will listen to us to get Bangladeshi workers to come in. Maybe not during the Movement Control Order but certainly in the near future,” he added.
Naqeeb was speaking at the Malaysian Palm Oil Council’s webinar today on “Mitigating the Impact of Covid-19 on the Malaysian Palm Oil Trade”.
He expressed concern over the falling numbers of foreign workers in the industry, in terms of attrition, abscondment and repatriation.
As such, he said the first priority is to get the government to extend the work permits of existing labourers, and thereafter to allow more foreign employees.
Nageeb also called on the government to look at reviewing the taxes levied on the palm oil industry, labelling the current tax structure as archaic.
“It is not responsive to how you perform, it is responsive to what the government needs. We would like the government to take a radical approach in addressing this issue of taxes.
This is an opportune time to look at it [tax structure], otherwise a lot of us will not have food on the table, especially the smallholders,” he said.