KKCCCI lauds move on special pass for plantation workers

Kota Kinabalu:┬áThe Kota Kinabalu Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KKCCCI) welcomed Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal’s announcement that the State Government will look into revamping the process of issuing special work permits for foreign plantation workers in the State.

Its President Datuk Michael Lui Yen Sang said it is commendable that the Chief Minister had taken an enlightened approach to solve local problems with appropriate solutions.

“KKCCCI agrees and supports the Chief Minister that the plan will not allow them to obtain the permanent resident status in Sabah, as this is an important basic principle in defending the basic rights of the Sabah people,” he said in a statement, Wednesday.

Shafie was reported saying on Wednesday that the special pass is not a permanent document but to legalise the foreign plantation workers’ work pass.

In addition to specifying that they are plantation workers, several conditions would also be set to enable them to feel comfortable working in the plantations.

Lui said the industrial players are relieved with the act of legalising the illegal workers into possession of a special work permit to legally work in the plantation.

“This not only solves the problem of shortage of legal workers but, more importantly, makes a positive contribution to our economic development and global competitiveness.

“KKCCCI believes that the State Government will be working with the Immigration Department to formulate specific conditions to expedite the implementation of issuing the special documents in the near future.”

From January to May this year, some 25,569 foreign plantation workers had been registered with the State Immigration Department, with Indonesians making the bulk with 24,442 workers, followed by 1,124 Filipinos and three from Myanmar.

Last year, the department registered 76,603 foreign plantation workers comprising 72,093 Indonesians, 4,494 Filipinos and 16 from Myanmar.

Source: Daily Express