KUALA LUMPUR (March 15): The Malaysian Rubber Glove Manufacturers Association (MARGMA) has welcomed the government’s decision to switch to endemicity as it signifies an end to the ban on foreign workers entering the the country after two years.
MARGMA Chairman Dr Supramaniam Shanmugan noted that the government has announced that quarantine centers for foreign workers are now open for slot booking, saying this bodes well for the rubber glove industry as that the country is on the road to economic recovery.
“We support the government’s initiative to open our borders and encourage businesses to operate as before. MARGMA reiterates that transparency on actual recruitment costs from countries of origin will be essential to facilitate a smooth recruitment process” , Supramaniam said in a statement.
Once the foreign worker recruitment process is in place, he said, industry players can plan ahead to improve plant operations and focus on expanding capacity.
“It would mean that more jobs would be created for local and foreign workers. We hope that the relevant ministries will come together to ensure an adequate supply of workers, especially for manufacturers of essential items.
“In fact, it is really important for Malaysia to maintain its world leadership in the production of these medical examination and surgical gloves and therefore we hope that in recognition of essential industries, we will be given priority in the engagement of migrant workers,” noted Supramaniam.
Overall, the rubber glove industry only hires about 1.7% of the total foreign workers in Malaysia, according to MARGMA.
As the industry continues to increase efficiency and invest in Industrial Revolution 4.0, recruitment of workers is inevitable to facilitate industry growth and meet global demand, which is expected to exceed 460 billion gloves in 2022.
“MARGMA is also proud to announce that all of our members have taken a very strong initiative to overcome allegations of forced labor and that we will keep our own house to withstand scrutiny by local and foreign listeners.
“We have worked extremely well with the University of Nottingham in Malaysia on a project supported by the British High Commission in Malaysia and a second project supported by the EU (European Union). Collaborative work is underway with the Organization International Labor Organization and the International Organization for Migration.and many other institutions and NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations), including activists, to ensure that our members are instilled in best manufacturing practices with regards to full compliance with environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards.
“On our ESG efforts and progress, we have provided quarterly updates to our major importing countries including the US, EU, UK and others via their respective High Commissions/Embassies in Malaysia,” Supramaniam added.