PETALING JAYA: Below is some of the frequently asked questions related to the Plantation Industries and Commodities Ministry in relation to the movement control order (MCO).
Question: Is there any flexibility in any of the plantation and commodity sectors during the MCO period?
Answer: Yes, for work involved directly with the production of products categorised as essential items and critical under the plantation and commodity sectors.
Q: What are the subsectors, activities and who are allowed in the flexibility in the plantation and commodity sectors?
A: 1) Oil Palm.
(i) The activities involved in the oil subsector are as follows:
(a) Harvesting of fresh fruit bunches by oil companies and smallholders;
(b) Sale of fresh fruit bunches to palm fruit traders;
(c) Processing of fresh fruit bunches carried out by oil mills; and
(d) Processing of crude palm oil at refineries for the production of cooking oil to meet local market requirements.
(ii) The parties involved in this flexibility are the owners of small farms/planters, oil palm traders (DFs), oil palm manufacturers (MFs) and refiners (RFs) whose licences are still valid with the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB).
(i) The activities involved in the rubber subsector are the tapping of rubber for the purpose of supplying raw materials for the manufacture of medical equipment products such as gloves and catheters; and
(ii) The parties involved in this flexibility are:
(a) Owner of a farm or smallholder with a Rubber Transaction Authorisation Permit (PAT-G) card;
(b) Licensed buyers of rubber with the Malaysian Rubber Board (LGM); and
(c) Rubber processing companies to meet the requirements for the manufacture of medical equipment products and others.
Q: What precautions should be taken?
A: Every smallholder and manufacturer must implement the following measures to reduce the risk of Covid-19 infection among workers during the MCO period:
(i) Health inspection and monitoring before the start of the operation.
(a) All employees are subject to health checks before entering the operating area using a non-contact thermometer and screening for symptoms;
(b) Information on the health status of the worker should be recorded and kept by the plantation owners/smallholders and manufacturers;
(c) All employees must maintain personal hygiene and practise social distancing by maintaining a distance of at least one metre with other workers; and
(d) Any employee who has been identified to have developed symptoms should be given access to prompt medical attention and quarantine action should be taken. Therefore, plantation owners/smallholders and manufacturers need to provide appropriate quarantine in the event of such incidents.
(ii) Preventive measures during operation:
(a) The transportation of workers to large operating areas is not permitted. Plantation owners/smallholders and manufacturers need to minimise the number of workers to reduce the risk of infection;
(b) All employees must maintain personal hygiene and practice social distancing by maintaining a distance of at least one metre between employees;
(c) Plantation owners/smallholders and manufacturers need to minimise situations that require large numbers of workers to assemble. Some of them exercise rest periods in stages to avoid such situations;
(d) Plantation owners/smallholders and manufacturers must provide outbreaks of pest control equipment such as hand sanitisers and face masks and place them in strategic locations in focus areas such as entrances to operating areas, prayer rooms, canteens and workers' vehicles; and
(e) Plantation owners/smallholders and manufacturers need to carry out regular disinfection in operating areas especially at areas where workers are concentrated.
(iii) Health inspection of visitors or suppliers:
(a) Visitors and suppliers entering the operating area must be restricted and they may only be allowed to enter the operating area for critical purposes only;
(b) The health status of all visitors and providers should be checked using a non-contact thermometer; and
(c) Any identified visitor and provider with Covid-19 symptoms are not allowed in the operating area.
Q: What action will be taken in case of violation of the MCO?
A: The flexibility can be withdrawn in the event that the conditions are not met by the plantation owners/smallholders and manufacturers.
Q: Who to contact for more information?
A: Contact the ministry's corporate communications unit at 03-8880 3321/3325 between 8am to 5pm.