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‘Countries that malign palm oil can be dealt with accordingly’

KUALA SELANGOR: Countries that malign palm oil and are calling for its boycott can be dealt with accordingly.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said palm oil-producing nations could also do the same and boycott the products from these countries.

In his speech at the launch of the Malaysian oil palm industry’s 100th anniversary in Bestari Jaya, Najib said he had discussed the matter with Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

Indonesia and Malaysia are the world’s top two palm oil-producing nations respectively.

“I have discussed with President Jokowi that Malaysia and Indonesia, through the CPOPC (Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries), go to countries such as the European Union (EU) members to convince them that what they are doing and alleging are baseless.

“We will tell them we buy a lot from them as well and if they boycott (palm oil), they may face the same from Malaysia and Indonesia,” said Najib at the event held at Sime Darby Plantation’s Tennamaram Estate yesterday.

Ministers representing the two countries in CPOPC will be going to the EU to convey this, he added.

“Currently, the oil palm industry is faced with various allegations and a negative perception by some NGOs which insinuate that the development of the oil palm plantations is not sustainable, pollutes the environment and causes deforestation,” said Najib.

Special occasion: Najib watering a palm oil tree he planted after the anniversary celebration at Tennamaram Estate in Bestari Jaya, Selangor. Looking on is Mah (right).

In view of this, the Government has taken proactive steps by having the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certification scheme, which was introduced in 2015.

“In line with the global market demand for sustainable palm oil, the MSPO scheme will be made mandatory from Dec 31, 2019,” he added.

The Prime Minister noted that the Government’s initiative of propagating the oil palm industry in the country has also successfully eradicated poverty.

He announced an additional allocation of RM510mil towards the replanting of oil palm crops by private smallholders for the next three years.

So far, RM130mil out of the amount had been approved this year. This was in addition to the RM1.75bil allocated earlier from 2010 to 2020 for the replanting scheme.

Najib also announced that RM4mil has been allocated for the construction and relocation of SRJK(T) Tennamaram from Kam­pung Baru Estate to Tennamaram Estate.

Also at the event were Plantation Industries and Commodities Minis­ter Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong and his deputy Datuk Datu Nasrun Datu Mansur, and Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister Tan Sri Noh Omar.

Oil palm plantations currently occupy over five million hectares with the commodity constituting almost 6% of Malaysia’s Gross Domestic Product.

Making the MSPO mandatory and the additional allocation are part of the Government’s transformation shifts towards ensuring that the oil palm industry remains successful for the next 100 years.Other measures include strengthening research and development.

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Plantations , Palm Oil , Palm oil