Citizens vow to protect SDPL investment

Dozens of SDPL Workers at a mass meeting aimed at resolving the impasse

Several workers at the Malaysian oil palm company have said they would do everything possible to protect the investment.

The workers spoke after   few contractors accused the company of practicing bad labor practice at the plantation.

“Those who accused the company of bad labor practice are not true employees of the company. We know what the company has been doing for us. We are not saying they are perfect.  There are some issues at times here and there.  But the overall, we are benefiting from the company,” Richard Sambullah, an employee said.

Another one,  Augustine Navoro said, “this investment is for us.  SDPL will not carry the palm, the schools, the hospital, the roads mills with them. So, we the citizens will do everything to protect it.”

A civil society activist who is critical of the company, Alex Balu said, once the company is within the confines of the laws and respects the locals, they will all work together and protect it.

“It is our position that the company  is here to work with the locals and once that is being done, we will protect the investment.  This is an investment that needs to be protected. The 63 years the company signed the concession is here to work has been reduced. So, we will all work together,” he said.

The company has in recent times been meeting the mandate of the special  committee set up by the house of representatives. The committee, among other things called on the company to modernize the latrine, school library and science laboratory as well as construct more hand pumps. More to that, to ensure that roofing sheets on  some of the houses are repaired.

When this paper contacted  management for comment,  a senior official  decline to speak. But added, “you speak to the locals. We have good relationship with them.”

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