PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Palm Oil Association (MPOA) strongly condemned the “Rang-tan” videoclip by Iceland-Greenpeace which told the story of an orang utan that was forced from the forest to make way for palm oil production.
The 90-second videoclip that went viral was narrated by Oscar-winner Emma Thompson. It was showed as a Christmas advert on television by British supermarket chain Iceland.
Eventually, Clearcast, the Bristish commercial television networks advertising watchdog banned Iceland from showing its advert as it breeched political advertising rules.
MPOA chief executive officer Datuk Nageeb Wahab called the video “baseless and discriminatory” against palm oil, adding that the supermarket’s action of removing 459 palm oil based products is a “sales gimmick”.
Earlier this year, Iceland announced its intention to remove palm oil from its products by end-2018, saying that the short advert fitted its agenda which led to its decision to use the video as its Christmas advert.
“The Rang-tan video which claims that 25 orang utans are dying everyday is a blatant lie which cannot be substantiated. The fact is that orang utans native for Sabah and Sarawak are fully protected and have a stable population,” Nageeb said.
MPOA represents 118 plantation companies, which accounts for 1.87mil ha or 40% of the total planted oil palm area in Malaysia.
Furthermore, the International Union for Conservation of Nature has also acknowledged the boycotting of palm oil to be “purposeless” due to the demand of cooking of oil worldwide.
Having said that, Nageeb noted the recent pledge of the UK Orang Utan appeal of supporting a funding of RM1mil towards the conservation team, Sabah wildlife rescue unit, fully funded by Malaysian Palm oil Council is a testimony of its efforts in protecting the species.
He urged the social and environmental activists to constructively work with the stakeholders of the palm oil industry, adding that the commodity has contributed to poverty alleviation in developing countries.
“ If the intention of NGOs, social and environmental activists is genuine to make palm oil sustainable, we would like to urge them to join and support the palm oil industry in taking real action and making a difference,” Nageeb concluded.
The Malaysian palm oil industry has voluntarily adopted internationally-accredited sustainability standards while subscribing to Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO).
The Malaysian government has also mandated certification of all its palm oil supply chain by Jan 1, 2020 through the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) standard.