Palm oil industry players urged to act together to improve workers’ welfare


Fadillah delivering his speech during the dialogue session.

KUCHING (June 19): Concerted efforts in improving employee welfare are needed from all palm oil industry players to ensure the sustainability of the industry, said Deputy Prime Minister Dato Sri Fadillah Yusof.

Fadillah, who is also Plantation and Commodities Minister, said although the industry now shifts towards automation and mechanisation, developing its human capital still plays a fundamental role in strengthening its position in the whole supply-chain process.

He said without qualified talents, the industry would not be able to anticipate, especially when addressing the emerging challenges.

“We need industry players, all parties involved in this process must work together, to promote and implement positive and responsible business practices.

“Industry players also need to take proactive steps in making sure that procedures pertaining to labour welfare matters are in compliance with all laws and regulations,” he said when met after launching the Information & Dialogue session on Agrocommodity Energy Use 2023 at a hotel here today.

Fadillah said while it is the government’s duty to provide safety of the employees, the industry also needs to take a look at how the current welfare has affected their employees’ performance.

According to him, improving employee welfare should not be seen as a burden but rather as an advantage as it could help to repair Malaysia’s image amidst allegations and negative perception linking palm oil cultivation to deforestation.

He said adopting a pragmatic approach will not only increase employees’ well-being but also the growth of business.

“If we take care of the welfare of the workers, their productivity will definitely encourage more economic growth because when they work in a good and positive work environment, they will be able to improve productivity and this will generate revenue for the company.

“And these are the commitments that all industry players need to have,” he added.