Sarawak, 8 July 2021 – Sime Darby Plantation Berhad (SDP) aims to vaccinate over 4000 of its workers and their dependants living in SDP’s operations in the Bintulu region in Sarawak this month. Together with the Sarawak State Government’s Disaster Management Committee (SDMC), SDP launched one of the state’s first industrial vaccination centres (PPVIN) for the palm oil sector in Rajawali Estate, Bintulu today. This will be followed by a second vaccination exercise in SDP’s Lavang Estate, Bintulu on 14 July 2021.
This public-private partnership is SDP’s second initiative in support of Malaysia’s National Immunisation Programme. Later this month, SDP will be hosting another PPVIN at its Tennamaram Estate in Bestari Jaya, Selangor, which is expected to cover approximately 6500 plantation industry workers, including those from other companies in the state. This will also be followed by more PPVIN centres at SDP’s operations in other states over the next few months.
Bintulu DDMC Chairman, Jack Aman Luat, said private-public partnerships are key to helping the government accelerate its efforts to achieve herd immunity expeditiously.
"Fighting the pandemic has become a battle that requires a collective call to action for people from all walks of life. It is imperative that we join forces to increase the pool of vaccinated Malaysians for the good of all. We urge more private companies to work together with us to combine our expertise, resources, and logistics for the people of Sarawak.
"Time is of the essence as we continue to dampen the spread of the virus that has crippled the world. Targeted PPVIN centres like this one for the palm oil industry will help to provide us the assurance that economic sectors which provide essential products for consumers as well as job opportunities for thousands will be able to remain safe against the growing threat of COVID-19," added Jack Aman, who is also the Bintulu Division Resident.
SDP's Regional Chief Executive Officer for Sarawak, Khairul Nizam Idris said the vaccination exercise is not only important for SDP workers who are front liners in an essential industry for the country, but also for their family members who live in the Company’s operations area.
“We have reached out to all our workers and their dependants to explain the procedures involved and to stress that the programme is completely voluntary. All communications with our foreign workers were conducted in their national language to ensure informed consent to being vaccinated,” said Khairul.
SDP will also take necessary measures to ensure that all its workforce in operations outside Malaysia are able to participate in similar national vaccination programmes, where ever available. All SDP’s operations globally are observing national and operational level health and safety procedures.
On 17 June 2021, in collaboration with OKU Sentral, SDP opened up its headquarters in Ara Damansara to host the nation’s first drive through vaccination centre dedicated to persons with disabilities and their care givers. Approximately 13,500 eligible recipients have registered for the programme and the centre is expected to operate for 5 months.
Besides SDMC, other programme partners for the PPVIN include the Ministry of Modernisation of Agriculture, Native Land & Regional Development (MANRED) Sarawak, the Ministry of Urban Development & Natural Resources (MUDeNR) Sarawak, the National Security Council (NSC) Sarawak, the Resident Office Bintulu, the District Office Bintulu, the Department of Agriculture (DOA) and the Bintulu Divisional Health Office.