SDP intends to continue engaging with Liberty Shared to obtain further clarification and discuss its latest statement
Kuala Lumpur, 7 August 2020 – We refer to the statement made by Liberty Shared (LS) dated 4 August 2020 titled ‘Response from Liberty Shared to statement by Sime Darby Plantation Berhad dated 10th July 2020 and statement by Malaysia’s Ministry of Human Resources dated 16th July 2020’.
Sime Darby Plantation Berhad (‘SDP’ or ‘the Group’) welcomes the recommendations made by LS in the statement. In that regard, and where applicable, we shall take into consideration those recommendations as part of our continuous and on-going efforts to improve SDP’s internal controls and governance.In view of this latest statement by LS, we also believe it is important for us to point out and clarify the following:
In its latest statement, LS highlighted the risks of bribery, as well as wage theft and money laundering when our workers hold their account at the same bank as SDP. These issues were not mentioned in LS’s earlier petition summary report to which we had clarified our position and current practices.
SDP views this statement with serious concerns as it is insinuating the possibility of one of Malaysia’s most respected banking institutions colluding to wage theft with SDP, in addition to money laundering. This veiled remark must be substantiated with strong and clear evidence, as by implication, it also raises the question on the credibility of the related financial institution that is subjected to stringent banking laws and regulatory framework. SDP has no means to investigate these issues thoroughly without substantive details.
Moreover, if there were any instances of such allegations previously, the vocal, independent and formidable National Union of Plantation Workers (NUPW) would have brought the issue to light and conducted an immediate probe into the issue.
The Malaysian Department of Labour has also been conducting regular inspection on the wages paid and would have taken prompt action against SDP, had wage theft occurred.
As part of our commitment to ethical business practices, SDP has also implemented an Anti-Corruption Management System (“ACMS”), in which we adopt a zero-tolerance policy against all forms of bribery and corruption. The ACMS is based on the requirement of ISO 37001:2016 and is managed via an independent function within the Group. In line with the ACMS, SDP provides channels to communicate any concerns on bribery and corruption without fear of retaliation;
As always, we welcome feedback from any of our stakeholders with any information that can help us to conduct full and proper investigation on any malpractices that may have occurred within our operations, and help us in our on-going and continuous effort to further improve our practices. SDP would not hesitate to take action against any officer, staff or individual found to be guilty of any offence. We do not condone misdeeds and any such suggestion goes against the core values of our Company that we zealously guard.
In the spirit of openness, transparency and collaboration that SDP has always upheld, we intend to continue engaging with Liberty Shared to obtain further clarification and discuss its latest statement. SDP endeavours to provide further updates on this matter as well as our continuing discussion with LS, as soon as there are any new developments that would be of interest to our stakeholders.