Kuala Lumpur, 1 April 2020 - Sime Darby Plantation Berhad (SDP) shares the concerns voiced by the Malaysian Palm Oil Association (MPOA) and the Malaysian Estate Owner Association (MEOA) over the decision announced yesterday by the Sabah State Government to close palm oil operations in three additional districts in the state. The decision expanded the shutdown of palm oil operations to a total of six districts in Sabah which account for 75% of the state's CPO production.
We fully appreciate and understand that the control over the spread of the COVID-19 virus pandemic is being regarded as the top priority of the State Government. At the same time, SDP believes that the initiative on containment needs to be balanced with considerations to not jeopardize industries recognised by the National Security Council (NSC) as essential to avoid potentially adverse and severe implications arising from the decision.
We are hopeful that the State Government of Sabah will take MPOA’s concerns into account and reconsider its decision. This is in line with the National Security Council (NSC)’s move to allow palm oil companies to continue limited parts of their operations deemed essential by strictly adhering to the conditions and operational guidelines as specified by the NSC.
On this note, SDP has worked with the authorities and made adjustments to the operations at our estates and mills to be in strict compliance with these conditions and guidelines. We believe the same has been implemented by other responsible palm oil companies to ensure that the essential parts of their operations will continue to remain productive during this difficult period for the country, whilst ensuring risks to the safety and health of all workers are effectively mitigated.