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By Siti Radziah Hamzah
KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 4 -- The Malaysian Rubber Council (MRC) will set up a special fund worth RM36 million to encourage the downstream industry, especially rubber glove producers, to hire more local workers.
Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Dr Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali said MRC has been rebranded from the Malaysian Rubber Export Promotion Council to reflect the expanded agency’s role in the development of the downstream rubber industry, human capital and advanced technology adoption as well as investment promotion of the country's rubber industry.
He said the setting up of the fund by MRC, an agency under the ministry tasked with promoting quality rubber products from Malaysia especially in support of small and medium enterprises, is in line with the government's new policy of prioritising the creation of more job opportunities for Malaysians in the bid to reduce the reliance on foreign workers.
"We will provide a wage subsidy of RM300 for one local worker for a period of 12 months in this downstream sector.
“We hope with this fund we would succeed in providing job opportunities to 10,000 Malaysians that would replace 10,000 foreign workers in the rubber downstream sector especially in the rubber glove industry,” he told Bernama.
This fund, specifically aimed at recruiting at least 10,000 local workers in more than 200 companies in the rubber industry, is open to rubber-based manufacturing companies between August 2020 and December 2021.
"We are committed to empowering MRC through a project to increase the use of rubber in this country as well as the tyre industry in the Malaysian market. The global tyre industry is very competitive with a value of US$66.6 billion,
“Generally, Malaysia exports up to US$300 million while the import value is US$600 million,” he said, pointing out that empowering the local tyre industry could redress this imbalance.
He said MRC would enhance its relations with international development organisations to increase trade for the country's rubber industry.
At present, Malaysia has a 65 per cent share of the global rubber glove market and is expected to remain as the main producer following the surge in demand for medical rubber gloves.
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