TUARAN: All 18 private jetties in the state’s oil palm industry are allowed to continue operations, said Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Wilfred Madius Tangau.
The Trade and Industry Minister said the jetties are allowed to operate starting Sunday, after they were closed on April 17.
Tangau said his ministry received feedback from all quarters including the Malaysian Palm Oil Association Sabah (MPOA Sabah) as well as smallholders who are affected as they are unable to transport their harvested fruit bunches.”
My ministry carried out our own studies and raised the issue in the daily Sabah Covid-19 Command Centre meeting. In the end, the decision was made on Saturday to allow the 18 jetties to start operations today,” he said.
On Saturday, MPOA-Sabah in a statement expressed its concern over the closure of private jetties operated by plantation companies in Sabah, stressing that the move will affect the oil palm supply chain in the state.It disclosed that Sabah Port Authority (SPA) circulated a letter, dated 17 April 2020, on the closure of all private jetties in Sabah.
MPOA Sabah pointed out that there are more than 16 private jetties currently operated by the plantation companies in Sabah specifically for shipments of fresh fruit bunches (FFB), crude palm oils (CPO) and palm kernels (PK) from one point to another point of the supply chain.
“These jetties are not entry or exit jetties for use by people – only dedicated for oil palm products. The closure will affect many plantation companies in Sabah and their respective supply chain including smallholders in Sabah that are relying on their jetties for logistics.
“We appreciate the SPA’s efforts to strengthen the preventive measures on transmission of Covid-19 for the sake of public safety. The industry is adhering to the SOP to prevent and mitigate the transmission in the operations which include the jetties. We are committed in the prevention and join the government in the fight against Covid-19,” MPOA Sabah said.
The industry, it stressed, is equally concerned on the negative impacts of this closure likely to have on their workers’ safety and collateral consequences.
The jetties are critical components of the supply chain to keep the operations of oil palm estates, mills, CPO refineries and kernel crushing plants running to produce the essential food and for exports to generate revenue and taxes for the state coffer, MPOA Sabah explained.