Young people should consider switching their careers to the plantation sector if they are facing immense stress and low pay working in the city, says Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin.
She said this when responding to a question from Bayan Baru MP Sim Tze Tzin in the Dewan Rakyat on Tuesday (2 August) about the government’s policy in recruiting foreign workers into the plantation sector.
Zuraida added that her ministry is working to change Malaysians’ perception about working in plantations in non-urban areas.
“We also want to change the attitude and mindset of youth to shift to do plantation work because it is a greener environment with green technology compared to the city, which is crowded, polluted and mentally stressful,” she was quoted as saying by Malaysiakini.
She then promoted the perks of working in the plantation sector, such as mechanisation, high salary and accommodation that is “sufficient and complete”.
At the same time, she also urged industry players to be more willing to accept workers from India and Pakistan who are ready to work in the country.
She said this is a short-term measure for the country to overcome the issues in sourcing foreign labour from Indonesia and Bangaladesh.
“We are working together with the Human Resources Ministry. The officials from the ministry will manage the process right from the application to the arrival of the workers from overseas. Nevertheless, we will not say that this will resolve the whole problem,” she said.
Commenting on the slow entry of foreign workers into the country, Zuraida said this is due to the new Foreign Workers Centralised Management System (FWCMS).
She said if the system is implemented well, foreign workers who enter the country can be tracked and they cannot switch jobs.
On the other hand, Zuraida said the plantation industry has also embarked on automation efforts to reduce dependence on foreign labour.