Estate owners’ association backs directive to screen plantation workers in Sabah

KOTA KINABALU: The Malaysian Estate Owners’ Association (MEOA) has supported the Sabah government’s directive for all plantation companies to screen their workers for Covid-19 after two new clusters involving estates were detected on Friday (Jan 15).

Its president Peter Benjamin said it is also the estate owners’ social responsibility to abide by the policy for the sake of the health of all their employees.

“We should not look at this as a burden and we need to support the government in overcoming this pandemic.

“Healthy employees will also help to keep the operations (in the plantation industry) going, especially since this is an essential service,” he said on Saturday (Jan 16).

He also urged plantations to register with clinics under Socso, as they will be entitled to subsidies.

“Arrange with the respective clinics to conduct the test. Since numbers are large, the screening can be done in the plantations itself,” said Benjamin.

State Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun in his daily Covid-19 updates on Friday announced two new clusters – Ladang Baturong in Kunak district with 54 cases and Ladang Matamba in Lahad Datu district with 20 cases.

Sabah is currently the country’s largest palm oil producing state, with a land area of over 1.54 million hectares.

Masidi stated it the plantation owners are also required to prepare health facilities and low-risk quarantine and treatment centres (PKRC) at their respective plantations.

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