Palm oil players in Sabah can resume operations, to adhere to state guidelines

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Palm Oil Association (MPOA) and the Malaysian Estate Owners Association (MEOA) have been diligently engaging with the relevant authorities in Sabah and putting relevant measures to curb the spread of Covid-19 in the palm oil supply chain.

In a joint statement yesterday, both associations said they were also grateful to the chief minister and state government for granting the palm oil supply chain the approval to resume operations in the affected six districts.

“We are very grateful the authorities were able to appreciate the overall situation in assessing the risks pertaining to the Covid-19 and the oil palm plantation sector and approve the lifting of the shutdown,“ the statement said.

It said both association were also appreciative of the open networking and effective engagement with the local plantation association, namely the East Malaysian Planters Association (EMPA), that led to the lifting of the shutdown.

It added that the associations and its members would adhere strictly to the conditions set and would continue to engage and support the diligent measures taken by the state and relevant authorities to curb the spread of Covid-19 in Sabah.

Meanwhile, Sime Darby Plantation Bhd (SDP) in a separate statement thanked the Sabah state government on its latest decision to allow oil palm estates and mills in Tawau, Lahad Datu, Kinabatangan, Semporna, Kunak and Kalabakan to resume operations.

“We welcome this carefully measured decision which balances the need to control the spread of the Covid-19 virus whilst allowing an industry deemed essential by the National Security Council (NSC) to continue being productive,“ it said.

SDP said it was committed to continue working with the authorities to ensure strict compliance to the operating conditions and guidelines of the state health department.

“This has been our commitment for all our operations throughout the country since the commencement of the Movement Control Order (MCO) and we will continue to fulfill this commitment to mitigate any risks to the safety and health of our workers,“ it said.

Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal yesterday allowed oil palm supply chain in Tawau, Lahad Datu, Kinabatangan, Semporna, Kunak and Kalabakan to resume operations if they had no positive virus cases, no persons under investigation for COVID-19 and no workers had had close contact with positive or suspected cases.

However, all the re-opened oil palm operations must abide with the strict adherence to the guidelines prepared by the state health ministry. — Bernama

Source : The Sun Daily

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