CORRECTION: Malaysia limits palm oil workforce capacity to 60% amid Covid-19

Malaysia imposed a stricter implementation of the Movement of Order Control (MCO) on agribusinesses...

Malaysia imposed a stricter implementation of the Movement of Order Control (MCO) on agribusinesses, limiting workforce capacity in palm oil mills and refineries to 60% in a bid to curb the spread of Covid-19, the government said in a statement Wednesday.

The stricter policy is effective immediately and failure to comply will be subject to legal action taken against the business, the Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali said in the statement.

“All sectors under the agri-commodity industry such as palm oil, rubber, lumber, cocoa, pepper, kenaf and biodiesel are allowed to operate with a capacity of only 60 percent of workers,” he said.

“In this regard, all industry players and employers must ensure that employees always follow the new standard operating procedures (SOP) that have been set. More frequent monitoring by employers on compliance by employees should be implemented,” the minister added.

The new ruling will be enforced in enclosed space like mills and refineries while workers on palm plantations in open space will be able to operate as normal.

Similar Covid-19 measures were taken by Malaysia during the first half of 2020, limiting the production of palm oil due to a lack of labour and causing prices of the tropical oil to heat.

Corrects the first paragraph from limiting the work force on palm oil plantation to limiting the work force in mills and refineries. Adds a penultimate paragraph to explain the new ruling.

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