High oil palm prices lure construction workers
By:Clement Erik Wong
Date:
SBW-fadillah construction-1006-cew-2

SELANGAU: Exorbitant oil palm prices have drawn construction workers to the plantation sector.

Senior Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof said this was due to the lucrative salaries offered by plantation operators compared to earnings in the construction sector which were based on skill levels.

“When the prices of oil palm are so lucrative, these estate owners are willing to offer high salaries to those willing to work in the plantation sector.

“Therefore, the construction sector is somewhat affected in terms of manpower as plantations have taken in some of its workers,” he told reporters during a site visit to the Selangau Interchange as part of the statewide FTRoadPedia tour today.

To combat the situation, Fadillah suggested construction industry players provide better incentives and care for its employees.

“Sometimes, there are situations where the government can’t take action. So the industry itself has to think about how it can take care of employees by offering something better than the competitions,” he said.

Fadillah added that teams of ’headhunters’ (recruiters) were also set up to find workers to fill any professional sectors that were seen to be affected due to the lack of manpower.

He also noted that the sudden effluence of workers had impaired the construction progress of the Pan Borneo Highway.

However, he stressed that construction of the Pan Borneo Highway, particularly the two packages in the Nyabau Section, had exceeded 85 per cent in progress.

“So far, for Sungai Kuar to Sungai Arip, construction work is progressing well including the site of a flyover connecting Mukah to the Coastal Road built by the state government which connects Mukah to the Pan Borneo Highway and will connect to Bintulu and also Sibu.

“Both packages are expected to be fully completed by the end of August and early next year respectively,” he said.

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