M'sia taps hundreds of rubber tappers from India's Kerala


NEW DELHI: Malaysian plantation companies are recruiting hundreds of rubber tappers from India's Kerala state, luring them with lucrative pay offers.

The recruitment drive comes amid tight business conditions in the Indian rubber industry amid a price decline that has led to retrenchments.

“Malaysian companies are offering more money and better employment conditions to rubber tappers from India,” Noushad Abdul Khayoom of Planners Group International recruitment firm told Bernama.

The Malaysian company he is recruiting for has a requirement for some 200 workers over the coming months, but not all of them will be from India.

“Many Malaysian plantations are recruiting from Kerala, but what they are really looking for is a mix of nationalities,” Noushad said.

Rubber tappers in the southern Indian state could earn between 500 rupees and 700 rupees daily, before the labour demand dropped and many shifted to other industries. Kerala workers in Malaysia can expect to get more than double what they earn in India, along with better working conditions, Noushad added.

One Indian newspaper report said the prospect of losing experienced workers to Malaysia is making local plantations jittery, as the state has only 77,000 registered rubber tappers against the current requirement of 150,000. -- BERNAMA