THE Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) collaborated with HELP University to organise its inaugural Youth Edupalm Forum 2018.
A total of 150 HELP University students attended the programme which was part of MPOC’s ongoing effort to educate young adults in tertiary institutions on the benefits of palm oil.
The forum at Wisma IBI, Bukit Damansara, Kuala Lumpur, provided a platform for knowledge sharing and gave the students a chance to interact with Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok.
MPOC deputy CEO and Promotions and Branding director Belvinder Kaur Sron said the forum was organised as part of the council’s Student Palm Oil Ambassador and Corporate Social Responsibility programmes.
“We want the students to take pride in palm oil, which is a Malaysian commodity and share information on its benefits with their peers,” she said in an interview.
At the forum, The Incorporated Society of Planters chairman Datuk Daud Amatzin shared facts about the benefits of palm oil.
“Palm oil has good resistance to oxidation and has a high carotene content,” he said, adding that palm oil was even used in making beauty products due to its many benefits.
Dietitian Khor Ban Hock who spoke on “Healthy Eating and Palm Oil” said it was suitable for most food preparation methods, including deep frying. “It is cholesterol-free,” Khor pointed out.
He advised students to look at scientific evidence rather than base their opinion on hearsay.
Amir Asyrani Hanapi from non-governmental organisation Planters United Palm Oil encouraged the students to register as its volunteers to protect the interest of 650,000 oil palm smallholders.
“We aim to fight the European Union’s proposed ban on the use of palm oil (for the production of biofuels by 2030),” he added.
HELP University vice-chancellor and president Prof Datuk Dr Paul Chan said they supported the programme to educate people about the value of palm oil.
Dr Chan said that the university students from various disciplines could carry out research on palm oil and its related aspects.
Kok invited the younger generation to defend the Malaysian product, saying that palm oil contributed RM77bil in export earnings last year.
“Spread what you have learnt today to others, maybe through co-curricular activities. You can go to schools to impart knowledge about palm oil,” she pointed out.
Kok said that the ministry would launch the “Love My Palm Oil” campaign next year and hold various activities to counter allegations made by certain quarters against the product.
She said HELP University was the first campus they visited to get support for the Malaysian product.
Speaking to reporters later, Kok said that the ministry wanted Palm Oil Ambassador Club to create awareness among students about the health benefits of palm oil so they could help promote the commodity.
Kok said they were targeting students as young people were adept at social media and could use it for a good purpose.
“They will be able to rebut misinformation about palm oil.
“We want to raise students’ awareness and encourage them to organise activities and programmes,” she added.