By Rosemarie Khoo and Joan Santani
KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 13 (Bernama) -- Malaysia’s rubber glove industry needs more workers to ramp up its production to achieve its target of RM20 billion in revenue this year against RM17.5 billion in 2018.
The Malaysian Rubber Glove Manufacturers Association (Margma) president Denis Low Jau Foo said the industry currently has 40,000 to 42,000 workers and in need of between 12,000 to 15,000 foreign workers to increase its productivity.
“The local glove industry today is not running at its maximum capacity. If we have more workers, we can increase the production of about 10 per cent more. With enough workers, we can achieve the RM20 billion target,” he told Bernama.
Low said association had brought the issue of labour shortage to Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok who had promised to take the matter to the Cabinet.
“We are hoping to source the workers from Nepal, Bangladesh and other countries that can provide good workers for the industry,” said Low.
He pointed out that most of the foreign workers in the industry had returned to their respective home countries and left vacant positions that need to be filled.
“The 12,000-15,000 foreign workers that we (industry) need are to fill in the vacant posts in factories,” he said, adding that although the industry has adopted automation technologies, it still needs additional workers to ensure it operates in full force.
Low also said the industry aims to export 195 billion pieces of rubber gloves this year, which is more than half of the global demand of 300 billion pieces.
In 2018, the industry had supplied 160 billion pieces of rubber gloves worth RM17.5 billion in revenue to over 190 countries in the world.
Malaysia’s total export of rubber products worth RM23.7 billion last year, 80 per cent of which contributed by rubber glove.