TAWAU, March 2 (Bernama) — Initiatives by the Sabah government to develop the downstream industries in the state including the processing of palm oil products have brought in benefits for the local people.
One such initiative is the production of cooking oil, branded Benta Enak Sedap Sehat (BESS), undertaken by Benta Wawasan Sdn Bhd (BWSB), a Tawau-based oil palm plantation company, which has ventured into the downstream business and along with it, created job opportunities for the locals here.
A government linked company(GLC) under Sabah Foundation, BWSB established a factory, Kilang Benta Edible Oil Sdn Bhd, on May 10 last year.
In January this year, it began the production of the cooking oil for the Sabah market.
Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal said the opening of the factor not only created job opportunities for the people in Tawau but has also had other positive impacts.
He said unlike the short term benefits of cash assistance programmes, the development of downstream industries will provide long lasting benefits for the people including employment opportunities.
Meanwhile, Bernama spoke to a worker from Benta Edible Oil Sdn Bhd, Hasnah Mohd Norhaji, who said she was grateful for getting a job with the factory after being unemployed for close to a year.
“When I came back from Johor, I was out of a job and for seven months I tried going into the city to look for a job but I could not find one. When I heard that a factory was being opened here and that it needed workers, I tried my luck and was successful.”
As for Mohammad Faizal Mohd Yusuf, he also expressed his gratitude for getting the opportunity to work in the factory and was glad that he would not have to travel far to find a job.
“It is better to work closer to home where you can be with your family,” he said.
Meanwhile, a food stall operator in Jalan Apas here, Halimah Nasmin, said the BESS cooking oil had helped reduce her cost of business.
INITIATIVE-DOWNSTREAM 3 (LAST) TAWAU
“The packaged cooking oil is as good as other cooking oil in the market, but its price is much lower than the others,” she said.
A single mother, Halimah, also expressed her appreciation to the state government’s commitment to help the locals raise their standard of living.
The Benta Edible Oil factory currently produces 2,000 metric tonnes of cooking oil a month.
Source : BERNAMA