KUALA LUMPUR (July 20): FGV Holdings Bhd said on Wednesday (July 20) that the oil palm planter will proceed with the recruitment of 1,210 workers from Indonesia as part of the company's earlier arrangement, despite Indonesia imposing a temporary freeze on sending migrant workers to Malaysia.
“With reference to the recent announcement by the Indonesian government to impose a temporary freeze on sending their migrant workers to Malaysia, we wish to inform that FGV shall wait for further instructions from the authorities for the workers’ future recruitment arrangement.
"However, FGV will proceed with the recruitment of 1,210 workers from Indonesia as part of our earlier arrangement, and it will help to reduce the current shortage of 30% (approximately 10,000 migrant workers in FGV)," FGV said in an emailed statement to The Edge.
FGV was responding to The Edge's queries on how Indonesia's move to impose a temporary freeze on sending migrant workers to Malaysia will affect FGV's foreign worker hiring process and operations.
Last Wednesday (July 13), Indonesia said it had temporarily stopped sending its citizens to work in Malaysia, including thousands recruited for the plantation sector, citing a breach in a worker recruitment deal signed between the two countries.
It was reported that the freeze is the latest blow for Malaysia — the world's second-largest palm oil producer and a key link in the global supply chain — which is facing a shortage of some 1.2 million workers that could derail its economic recovery.
"Indonesia's Ambassador to Malaysia, Hermono, told Reuters the freeze was imposed after Malaysia's immigration authorities continued using an online recruitment system for domestic workers that had been linked to allegations of trafficking and forced labour," Reuters reported.
"The system's continued operation violated the terms of an agreement signed between Malaysia and Indonesia in April, aimed at improving the protection of domestic workers employed in Malaysian households, said Hermono, who goes by one name," the report said.
On Tuesday (July 19), it was reported that Malaysia's Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M Saravanan said Malaysia had agreed in principle to integrate the Malaysian government's Internet-based platform known as the Maid Online System for foreign-worker recruitment with Indonesia's One Channel System.
Saravanan said the planned integration of Malaysia and Indonesia's online recruitment systems will enable both countries to have the information on Indonesian workers' entry into Malaysia.
At Bursa Malaysia on Wednesday, FGV’s share price closed unchanged at RM1.51 for a market value of about RM5.51 billion. FGV registered a trading volume of 596,100 shares.
FGV has 3.65 billion outstanding shares, according to the company's latest quarterly financial report.
On Tuesday, CGS-CIMB Securities Sdn Bhd analyst Ivy Ng Lee Fang wrote in a note that FGV, CIMB Group Holdings Bhd and Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd were key stocks with the highest fund flow on Bursa last week (July 11 to 15).
"CIMB was the largest net buy (stock) for foreign institutional investors but [the] largest net sell (stock) for local institutional investors.
"Petronas Chemicals was the largest net buy stock for local institutional investors, but the largest net sell (stock) for foreign institutional investors.
"FGV was the largest net buy (stock) for local nominee investors and the second-largest net sell (stock) for local institutional investors," Ng said.
She said local nominee investors' net purchase of FGV shares was valued at RM38.8 million while local institutional investors' net sale value of FGV shares stood at RM39.2 million.