A local brand cooking oil established by the previous Warisan administration has been shut down by the current Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) government.
According to a source, the cooking oil refinery located at the east coast of Sabah is owned by a Government Linked Company whose Chairman is Chief Minister, Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor.
The source added, the weakness of the GRS administration has caused the local brand to cease operations.
“The factory was established during the Warisan era, but is now gone,” he said.
For the record, Warisan successfully established three local cooking oil brands when in power.
In February 2020, BESS cooking oil which is owned by Benta Wawasan Sdn Bhd through its subsidiary Benta Edible Oil Sdn Bhd was launched in Tawau.
In July 2020, GOLD cooking oil which is a joint venture between Sawit Kinabalu Sdn Bhd and Syarikat Intipati Sawit Kinabalu Sdn Bhd was launched in Sandakan.
In September 2020, ONSOI cooking oil which is owned by Sabah Land Development Berhad through its subsidiary Sabaras Sdn Bhd was launched in Keningau.
In his speech at the launch of BESS’s refinery in February 2020, former Chief Minister, Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal said, the establishments of locally branded cooking oil is an effort to strengthen palm oil’s downstream industries in Sabah, as well as create more job opportunities for Sababans.
“With these refineries, Sabahans need not seek job opportunities in Semenanjung because we are able to create many more new job opportunities in the downstream industries.”
He added, Sabah’s economy will also benefit through the stabilisation of palm oil prices.
“We do not have to wait for palm oil price to increase before selling and we do not nees to rely too heavily on export.”
“The are products that can help stabilise prices,” he said.