Sarawak Keen to Learn from Sabah Palm Oil Experience


is keen to learn from Sabah’s experience in developing palm oil

downstream industries and palm oil industrial clusters (POIC).

Its Land Development Minister Dr James Masing said the oil palm

plantation sector was expanding rapidly in Sarawak and the state aimed

to ensure that it was moving in the right direction in downstream


“We have heard a lot about your POIC development and

we believe we can learn much from your experiences,” Masing said during

a visit to the POIC project in Lahad Datu.

On hand to brief the visitors was POIC Sabah Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Datuk Dr Pang Teck Wai.

Masing’s 16-member delegation included senior officials from the

Ministry of Rural Development, State Planning Unit, Bintulu Development

Authority, Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corp, Sarawak Oil Palm

Plantation Owners Association and Malaysia Palm Oil Board Sarawak.

He said that Sarawak currently has about 700,000ha of oil palm, compared with 1.4 million hectares in Sabah.

The state has targeted to cultivate about two million hectares of oil palm over the next five years.

Sarawak is also developing land in Bintulu, known globally as a port

for liquefied natural gas, to attract investors in palm oil downstream


Dr Pang said the oil palm industry in Sabah has

the potential to generate economic value of RM100 billion, four times

that of the state’s gross domestic product currently.

He shared

with visitors his views on the critical factors for a successful

industrial cluster and highlighted the importance of infrastructure and

the need for the government to underwrite the funding.

Views were exchanged on issues of plantation labour and mechanisation.

The plantation sector faces a major labour shortage from an exodus of Indonesian workers back to their home country.

Mechanisation may help address the labour woes in addition to raising efficiency and productivity.

Source : Business Times

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