KUCHING: Sellers of palm oil fresh fruit bunches (FFB) are now required to put down their names and particulars to be sent to Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) for monitoring and checking purposes.
This is a new strategy introduced with the aim to curb the never-ending thefts of fresh fruits bunch in the state, says Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities Datuk Seri Douglas Uggah.
He said mills and collection centres were only initially required to record the quantity of the FFB sold to them but now they had to get the names of the sellers as well.
“Failing to get their names means the collection centres are committing an offence and stern action will be taken against them,” he told a media conference after chairing a second meeting to discuss FFB issues here yesterday.
Deputy Home Minister Dato Sri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar and representatives from other relevant agencies were also present.
Uggah lamented that the FFB thefts in Sarawak was a matter of concern because despite the operation code-named Ops Sawit Kenyalang mounted from July 1 to December last year there was still no end to the problem. Ops Sawit Kenyalang 2015 was launched on April 2.
He said that from January to March this year the authority had received 82 reports of FFB thefts throughout the state involving a total area of 18,192 hectares including Samarahan, Sibu, Mukah, Kapit and Miri.
“To prevent the sales of FFB from suspicious sources MPOB has issued a directive which restricts mills from buying more than two tonnes of FFB per hectare,” he said.
Uggah said through the operation conducted by MPOB and various other enforcement agencies including the police from July to December last year a total of 278 compounds and 41 show cause letters had been issued to several operators to explain why their licences should not be suspended.
“Out of the total MPOB revoked three and suspended 24 licences while six were compounded and another eight were given written warning. Three business licences – one each in Samarahan, Sibu and Miri – were cancelled,” he added.
He said the government was very concerned with the theft of FFB in the state and warned that they would continue to monitor the situation to ensure that the offenders were brought to book.
“There is still no end to this issue and we are going to go all out against those involved because we cannot allow this problem to continue,” he warned.