giants should plough back earnings - PBS
Sunday, 13 July
2003 (Source: Bernama)
Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) Sunday called on non-Sabahan plantation
owners to plough back estate earnings into the state economy
and reduce dependence on foreign labour by investing in
training of local manpower.
PBS deputy president Datuk Dr Maximus Ongkili said that
some 80 percent of Sabah's total industrial crop acreage
was held by large non-Sabahan companies which contributed
minimally to the local economy, aside from payment of oil
palm sales tax.
"This situation exists because farm earnings are expatriated
in various forms rather than re-invested to generate multiplier
effects in the domestic economy," he said when opening the
Sulabayan PBS annual general meeting here.
Ongkili claimed that foreign companies' contribution to
the growth of the local economy was far below expectation.
"Most of the large oil palm plantations are owned by public
listed companies based in Kuala Lumpur. Monthly or quarterly
earnings are expatriated to their headquarters while foreign
labourers' wages are expatriated to their countries of origin,"
Ongkili, who is Bandau MP, said it was also public knowledge
that most of the plantation companies employed non-local
managers, supervisors and management personnel while labourers
were almost entirely foreigners.
"The net effect is a disheartening scenario. Very little
money is ploughed back into the state's economic system.
"Worse still, most farm implements, machinery, fertiliser,
chemicals and even food items are imported directly from
their headquarters outside the state rather than from local
outlets," he said.
Very often, he said, contract work such as clearing, replanting
and inputs supply were given to their subsidiaries rather
than local companies.
"On this matter, even Felda Sahabat (in Lahad Datu) is equally
a culprit," he said.