By    23 Jun,2022

According to the latest media reports, Malaysia will begin receiving its first Indonesian workers on Wednesday since reopening its borders, hoping to ease a severe labor shortage on palm plantations.

Malaysia reopened its borders in April, but has so far not seen a significant number of migrant workers return to the country due to slow government approvals and protracted negotiations between Indonesia and Bangladesh over worker protection issues and Malaysia.

Nageeb Wahab, chief executive of the Malaysian Palm Oil Association, believes that although larger plantations will be able to absorb higher fertilizer costs due to higher palm oil prices, many will struggle to increase production if there is a long delay in bringing in workers.

He also said that the government has approved the introduction of foreign workers, but the source country is still problematic, and it will take time to train workers, and the expected bumper crop later this year will not occur.