Consider wellbeing of industry, Soppoa urges imigration authorities

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KUCHING: Sarawak Oil Palm Plantation Owners Association (Soppoa) is saddened by the recent raid operations conducted by the Immigration Department on oil palm plantations and thus appeals to the Sarawak government for consideration on the matter.

Soppoa chief executive officer Dr Felix Moh said the association did not see any merit for such operations at all.

“It is opined that government departments should facilitate and support the industry instead of adding additional pressure in this trying time,” he said in a statement on Thursday (Jan 27).

He suggested relooking at the existing recruitment procedure and improving application efficiency by the Immigration Department for the benefit of the industry and government. 

“Enforcement is necessary. However, the Immigration Department should also consider the wellbeing of the industry.

“Unnecessary raids cause interruption to business and result in economic losses. The collapse of any industry does not bring any benefit to the government either.”

Moh said despite the promising price of crude palm oil, Sarawak oil palm plantations had suffered enough from losses of crops, increase in operation costs, disruption of supply chain, and worse still, acute shortage of workers for the past two years.

“Unexpectedly, there was another unnecessary pressure from the Immigration Department who conducted raid operations on the northern part of the state on Jan 26.

“It is anticipated that there will be more of such operations during the Chinese New Year.”

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