Rubberwood production can further strengthen the country’s position as a leading furniture exporter in the world, says Deputy Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Jeck Seng.
Wee said rubberwood was an important raw material that could feed the growing global demand for furniture.
“Malaysia has a mature furniture industry and last year, we exported over RM11bil worth of furniture.
“This year, we expect the export value to increase to RM13bil.
“There is a high as well as growing demand for furniture despite the Covid-19 pandemic and we need to have ample raw materials to produce furniture,” he said.
Wee said this during a press conference after visiting the Kota Tinggi Malaysian Rubber Board (MRB) research station in Johor.
He highlighted that Malaysian furniture was exported all over the world, with a majority of items sent to the United States.
He noted that the use of rubberwood — which is a renewable resource — in the furniture industry showed the country’s commitment to environmental sustainability.
“The tree can be used for the production of rubber before being harvested after 15 years, to produce furniture,” he said.
Earlier, Wee visited the Integrated Rubber Processing Complex and a rubber forest to take a look at research being conducted by MRB.
On a separate matter, Wee said MRB had introduced the MyROL (My Rubber Online) system to help the 450,000 rubber smallholders here increase their income.
He said MyROL was developed as a business platform to ease the transaction of rubber through tenders.
“The tendered price on the platform can be higher than what is set by MRB, allowing smallholders to increase their income.
“We hope smallholders will make use of this opportunity to increase their income,” he said.