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EMPA 135 Years (1889 - 2024)

The Association was established on 26th October 1889 in Sandakan, then, North Borneo by a group of tobacco planters from Kinabatangan, Segaliud, Labuk and Sugut, under the name of North Borneo Planters’ Association. The purpose then and now, was to discuss plantation problems, to represent estate interest to the Government, and to cooperate with the Government on matters of mutual interest.


In early of 1890s, when rubber planting had superseded tobacco as the dominant crop, the Association was re-founded as The Planters Association of the West Coast with its headquarters in Jesselton where is now referred to Kota Kinabalu.


In the 1920s, it became The North Borneo Planters Association and since then has represented all or nearly all of the principal estates on both East and West Coast of Sabah.


In 1963, when North Borneo achieved independence and confederated with Peninsular Malaya, the Association changed its name to Sabah Planters’ Association.

In 1973, when plantation development activities in Sarawak began on a commercial scale, the name of the Association was changed to The East Malaysia Planters’ Association (EMPA) to accommodate members from Sabah and Sarawak.

In view of the member's needs, the Association has employed a full-time secretary cum treasurer in late April 2017. The Association now has its own administrative office at Bandar Utama, Sandakan, Sabah, with a membership strength of one hundred and ninety-four members.


EMPA through its members' activities contributed much to the social and economic well-being of the State and the country. The Association is recognized by the State and Federal Government to act as a coordinator for the various plantation industries in East Malaysia, i.e. oil palm, cocoa, agro-forestry and other crops.

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