The lack of interest among the locals to work in the plantation sector has forced Felda to employ up to 40,000 foreigners, its chairman Mohd Isa Abdul Samad said.
The number represents 84 percent of Felda’s total number of workers, he added. Of the number, 29,000 are Indonesians, 10,000 Bangladeshis while the rest are of other nationalities.
“Felda has to employ foreigners, particularly from Indonesia, because the locals are not interested to work in plantations run by Felda. We received good cooperation from the Indonesian government, which supplies these workers,” he told reporters after attending a dinner in conjunction with the land development agency’s Worker’s Day last night.
Present were West Nusa Tenggara governor Dr Zainul Majdi, Felda deputy director general Mohd Nor Khailany and Jengka Felda general manager Saari Din.
Felda-run factories which used modern technology, however, were run fully by local workforce, he said.
He also said that Felda had always ensured the welfare of its foreign workers, providing them with accommodation and good salaries of between RM800 and RM1,200 a month depending on their skills.
“Felda recognises its workers, either locals or foreigners, who perform well” he said.
Earlier in his speech, Mohd Isa reminded Felda settlers to do their part to ensure continuity in development.