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Malaysia's palm producers to recruit prisoners, ex-drug addicts to solve coronavirus-driven labour crunch

Sep 14, 2020 | 🚀 Fathership
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's labour-reliant palm oil companies are looking to recruit recovering drug addicts and prisoners to solve a severe shortage of foreign workers that has worsened due to a coronavirus-driven border closure.

"We are even reaching out to Department of Orang Asli Development, the Drug Prevention Association of Malaysia, as well as the Prisons Department in search of locals," industry group the Malaysian Palm Oil Association said in a statement on Tuesday evening.

The collaboration with the Prisons Department to recruit parolees and prisoners under supervision first started in 2016 in one government-linked firm, but now more companies are interested in the programme, chief executive Nageeb Wahad told Reuters.

Some plantation firms are also in discussion with the Drug Prevention Association of Malaysia to recruit recovering addicts in rehabilitation, he said.

READ: Malaysia reports sharpest spike in new coronavirus cases in 3 months Advertisement.