Tuesday, March 2

Willie urges companies under essential sectors to continue adhering to SOPs


Willie (left) taking a closer look at some of the products produced by EAPP while briefed by Nguang (second right). Also looking on is Murphy (right). – Photo by Chimon Upon

KUCHING (Feb 23): Deputy Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities Datuk Willie Mongin has urged companies under the essential sectors to continue their strict adherence to standard operating procedures (SOPs) set by the government to tackle the country’s Covid-19 situation.

He said since the pandemic struck the nation last year, many companies under these sectors including those from the construction, plantation and commodities industries have complied with the SOPs.

“However, there were one to two sectors specifically the plantation and rubber sectors where we found that employers did not fully implement and adhere to the SOP which caused the widespread transmission of Covid-19 in factories and plants a few months ago.

“We managed to overcome this problem after taking swift and decisive action and we are thankful that after the incident, the companies involved have now complied with the SOP,” he told a press conference after visiting East Asia Palm Product Sdn Bhd (EAPP) at Jalan Bako near here today.

His visit was in conjunction with his ministry’s directive to monitor that companies under the Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities are in compliance with SOPs following the country’s positives cases specifically those that were caused by workplace clusters.

Willie said employers must always ensure that their employees comply with the prescribed SOPs such as limiting the number of employees to plantations and factories as well as ensuring that they do not congregate in narrow spaces in addition to complying with social distancing of at least one meter at all times.

“They are also reminded to comply with the Workers’ Minimum Standards of Housing and Amenities (Amendment) Act 2019 (Act 446) in line with the Fourth Initiative of the Malaysian Economic and Rakyat’s Protection Assistance Package (Permai) which is to strengthen the health screenings of employees.

“Adherence to Act 446 is crucial to ensure that workers have a clean and conducive accommodation and also to avoid congestion to prevent the spread of Covid-19 infection,” he said.

He also urged companies to conduct Covid-19 screening on their foreign workers.

“The Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities through the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) wish to remind all MPOB licensees to comply with the instructions and ensure that foreign workers employed by the companies have undergone Covid-19 screening before Feb 28,” said Willie.

He said any enquiries regarding the SOP can be made to the ministry by calling its hotline at 03-8880 3498 between 8am and 5pm from Mondays to Fridays or via email at [email protected]

“We hope that with stricter and more stringent SOP compliance by employers, this will reduce the number of Covid-19 cases and thus alleviate the people’s concerns and restore the country’s economy immediately,” he said.

Also present were EAPP chief executive officer Andrew Nguang Paw Chiang and MPOB Sarawak Region head Murphy Solomon.