Sime Darby Liberia, a subsidiary of Sime Darby Group established by two British businessmen, William Sime and Henry Darby, a fledgling player in the lucrative rubber industry in Malaysia is said to be finding it very difficult with its majority shareholders including authority of the current administration of the Malaysian government due to what is being considered as the slow pace of the Company’s input over the years.
According a credible information gathered by GNN-Liberia Correspondent in Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysian Capital, some top officials of the Company have been having series of emergency meetings as to the decision to take in scalding down the operation of the Company which has been in Liberia since 2008 when it signed a 63-year concession agreement with the Government of Liberia to develop 220,000 ha of land in Grand Cape Mount, Bomi, Gbarpolu and Bong into oil palm and rubber plantations.
Over the years the plantation has been in the center of land disputes between the locals. While other unforeseeable activities have engulfed the plantation making its operations to always be on a standstill; accusations and counter accusations between the plantation management and some members of its workforce backed with landowners complaining about the use of their land being occupied by the Company.
Last year the General Manager of Sime Darby Plantation Liberia, Mr. David Parker was suspended for time indefinite with immediate effect, his letter of suspension was served while at the same time ordering him cease doing any transact on behalf of Sime Darby.
Prior to his suspension and subsequent dismissal, the House of Representatives called on the company to improve housing facilities in the plantation, following tour of SDPL’s facilities by a legislative team from Monrovia after the company was criticized by some civil society groups of the Parker-led administration at SDPL for poor performance since he took office last year.
In a five-count petition to the House of Representatives and the company recently, a group of concerned citizens blamed Mr. Parker for series of instabilities at the plantation and called for his removal.
GNN-Liberia Correspondent in Malaysia said the discussions are been held between shareholders of the Company and a representative of Sime Darby Liberia as to what decision to take on the closure and suspension of the company’s operation in Liberia.
All efforts applied to contact the management of Sime Darby Liberia proved unsuccessful, as the lines of the Company’s PRO rank endlessly.
Detail will follow in our subsequent posting.