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Who will helm MPOA next?
THE Malaysian Palm Oil Association (MPOA) exco members will soon announce its new chief executive officer (CEO), who will succeed the outgoing Datuk Mohamad Nageeb Wahab (pic) by this month.
Nageeb is set to join the Jakarta-based Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries (CPOPC) as its new executive director. He will be occupying the spot left by top palm oil industry stalwart, Tan Sri Dr Yusof Basiron at CPOPC.
As for MPOA, bear in mind that the association represents the single largest integrated voice of Malaysia’s private oil palm plantation industry with over 100 plantation companies as its members. This includes plantation giants such as Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd, IOI Corp Bhd, Sime Darby Plantation Bhd and FGV Holdings Bhd.
Together, MPOA members are said to account for 1.87 million ha or about 40% of the total planted oil palm area in Malaysia.
Therefore, the ideal CEO candidate for MPOA must have both excellent credentials and vast knowledge of the palm oil industry.
Established in 1999, MPOA’s previous CEOs include M R Chandran, Azizi Meor Ngah, Datuk Mamat Salleh and Datuk Dr Makhdzir Mardan.
This time around, the association’s exco members are believed to be deliberating on three potential candidates, namely, Joseph Tek Choon Yee, Datuk Dr Kalyana Sundram and Mohammad Jaaffar Ahmad, say sources.
Tek was the former managing director and CEO of IJM Plantations Bhd, Kalyana was the former Malaysian Palm Oil Council CEO and Jaaffar was the former CPOPC director of strategy and policy, as well as the former Palm Oil Millers Association CEO.
Ideally, the successor to Nageeb must have years of experience in the palm oil sector and be a prominent spokesman to represent the association both at the domestic and international levels.
Hence, it will be most interesting to see how the incoming MPOA CEO tackles the plantation industry’s decade-old issue – the labour shortage – which is now said to be at its worst, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic as well as the rising cost of production amid such strong crude palm oil prices.
Shorter is not better
DECADES ago, civil servants in Malaysia worked a five-and-a-half-day week. Saturday was a half day where work would end around lunch time.
After a while, many asked what was being accomplished with a longer working week. The half day was seen as a waste of time as little was being done.
Eventually, everyone migrated to a five-day week and it has been that way for the civil service and much of the private sector since then.