: A backbencher today urged the government to allow entry of foreign workers for the plantation sector, especially oil palm, to avoid losses.
Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin (BN-Padang Besar) said the Rubber Industry Smallholders Development Authority (RISDA) and other plantation-related agencies had recently submitted their applications on the matter, but they were not approved.
He said this situation could result in the agencies and the government incurring losses of up to RM1.4 million monthly as oil palm fruits were left uncollected.
"We had applied to the Department of Labour, but the application was left unapproved despite being supported by a minister," he said when debating the motion of thanks to the royal address at the Dewan Rakyat sitting today.
Zahidi, who is also RISDA chairman, said if the situation persisted, more oil palm fruits would remain uncollected and the government would continue to experience losses. - BERNAMA