PUTRAJAYA: Plantation and commodities minister Johari Ghani has called for the government to set up a database of Bumiputera companies to distinguish the genuine and qualified businesses from those that are merely rent-seekers.

Johari said the measure was necessary to combat “Ali Baba” practices that have adversely affected the government’s efforts to empower Bumiputera businesses and communities.

He said the database would allow companies to be properly screened to determine their suitability to tender for and secure the award of government projects.

“Many government initiatives have failed due to ‘Ali Baba’ practices. We aim to support only genuine Bumiputera entrepreneurs.

“For this, the government must maintain a central database, instead of allowing each ministry to have its own,” he told a press conference on the sidelines of the 2024 Bumiputera economic conference here.

“Ali Baba” practices loosely refer to rent-seeking by Bumiputera companies who take on government jobs and subcontract the actual work to non-Bumiputera entities without adding value.

Johari, an Umno vice-president, said that without a comprehensive database, the government runs the risks of awarding contracts to undeserving people, rather than genuine Bumiputera entrepreneurs.

“If the government wants to assist Bumiputeras, there must be a credible database we can refer to (that will flag) those ineligible for government projects or contracts,” he said.

The database must be accessible to the public, he said.

Earlier, Johari took part in a forum that discussed strengthening the Bumiputera agenda, one of several programmes taking place between today and Saturday at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre.


Sumber : Free Malaysia Today

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 29 ― The oil palm industry in Malaysia needs to be revamped, including ensuring the involvement of all related parties, to guarantee the sustainability of the sector in the future.

In stressing this matter, Plantation and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Johari Ghani said industry players and smallholders need to work together to develop the industry without involving a lot of government allocations.

“Many issues need to be resolved, not only involving the ministry but also industry players such as the Federal Land Development Authority (Felda), Felcra Bhd and the Rubber Industry Smallholders Development Authority (Risda).

“These (institutions) have to be strong so that the smallholders can depend on them. Otherwise, it will be difficult for the smallholders and it will affect their income,” he said on Bernama TV’s Ruang Bicara programme yesterday.

Elaborating further, Johari also emphasised the importance of implementing existing policies to attract interest in the purchasing of finished products as well as raw materials in the long term.

Apart from that, the perception of employment in the industry needs to be changed especially among the younger generation. For example, young people from settler families certainly have a foundation in the industry, he noted.

“Thus, what is needed is professional training through the technical and vocational education training (TVET) that can produce professionals in this industry for the future,” he said, adding that this would help to tackle the labour shortage issues in the industry.

The minister pointed out that the shortage of about 40,000 foreign workers in the oil palm sector has significantly impacted yields, leading to an estimated loss of RM7.9 billion in export value for Malaysia.

Regarding the issue of the European Union's Deforestation-free Products Regulation (EUDR), he said the government is always aware and compliant with the rules to produce quality palm oil and preserve its sustainability.

“I want to see every estate in Malaysia become a world-class plantation, with that all parties must comply with the guidelines and regulations that have been set,” he added.

Johari said through the Agricommodity Policy 2030, the government will preserve the environment as well as increase the productivity of the workforce and protect workers' rights.

This positive development will increase the value of palm oil exports and attract investments into the country, he added. ― Bernama


Sumber : Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's commodities such as palm oil and rubber can help boost the weak ringgit through the repatriation of export earnings, said Plantations and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani. 

Speaking at Bernama TV Ruang Bicara on "Empowering Agricultural Commodities In Facing Global Challenges" tonight, Johari said the overall commodities contribute between RM160 billion and RM200 billion in export receipts or more than five per cent to the country's gross domestic product.

Undoubtedly, commodities such as palm oil and rubber play an important role in providing the country with foreign exchange, he added.

"Our commodity exports are paid in the US dollar. Given our current exchange rate position, if we can bring back the greenback each time we export, it will help cushion the impact on our weak ringgit," added Johari.

Last week, the ringgit touched 4.800 against the dollar, the weakest level since the Asian financial crisis in 1998.

The ringgit edged down to 4.76 against the greenback from Tuesday's close of 4.75.

Yesterday, Bank Negara Malaysia governor Datuk Abdul Rasheed Ghaffour said the central bank had stepped up engagements with GLICs, GLCs, corporations and investors to encourage continuous inflows into the foreign exchange market.


Sumber : New Straits Times

KUALA LUMPUR: Plantation and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani says prioritising effective management and improvement of paddy fields can potentially lead to a substantial increase in rice production.

Johari pointed out that just 60 per cent of paddy is grown locally, while the rest is imported. This causes sustainability challenges in the food production.

"For instance, in Tanjung Karang, Kuala Selangor, paddy yields can reach up to six or seven tonnes per hectare.

"Comparatively, in our northern paddy fields, the yield might only be around four tonnes. This two-tonne difference, when scaled up across 800,000 hectares, would equate to 1.6 million tonnes of paddy, translating to over one million tonnes of rice.

"Currently, we consume around 2.2 million tonnes of rice annually, while producing only 60 per cent domestically," he said on Bernama TV's Ruang Bicara on "Enhancing Agricultural Commodities In Confronting Global Challenges" tonight.

The government reportedly is concerned that a lower domestic output will increase reliance on more expensive imports.

It acknowledged the issue but the industry fretted that little had been done to resolve the problem.


Sumber : New Straits Times

KUALA LUMPUR: Plantation and commodities minister Johari Ghani says manual labour is still required to harvest oil palm fruits, as machine-based technology for such purposes has yet to be developed.

Johari said this was why the palm oil industry is heavily dependent on foreign workers for harvesting and collection, with nearly half of the workforce dedicated to this process.

“It (harvesting) still requires manual labour. We have many (manual) tools for harvesting the fruit but this requires the expertise of skilled workers,” he told the Dewan Rakyat today.

However, he said mechanisation was feasible for other tasks in the industry, such as the application of fertiliser and pesticides.

Johari was responding to a supplementary question from Idris Ahmad (PN-Bagan Serai) on whether the ministry plans to mitigate the shortage of workers in the palm oil industry through technological advancements.

Last month, he announced that only the plantation sector would be permitted to hire foreign workers, a decision conveyed to him by home minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail after Saifuddin’s meeting with human resources minister Steven Sim on Jan 16.

Johari had said that the industry was facing a shortage of 40,000 workers.

To address the industry’s need for foreign workers, Johari said the ministry had introduced technical and vocational education and training aimed at training locals to become harvesters.

“We have identified 60 people to enrol in this course, scheduled to commence in April and conclude in September. Hopefully, they can focus on the intricacies of harvesting these fruits,” he said in the Dewan Rakyat.

“And when this expertise is acquired, we can encourage more people to engage in harvesting oil palm fruits.”


Sumber : Free Malaysia Today