KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia and Indonesia are working hard to protect the livelihood of those in the palm oil industry whose future is now uncertain following the European Parliament’s decision to phase out palm oil based biofuels by 2020.
The decision will impact Malaysia, as the European countries import RM10bil palm oil products annually followed by India and China.
Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak will get involved at a government-to-government level for Malaysia to present its case to the European lawmakers and explain to them that our palm oil was produced in a sustainable manner.
“The European Parliament last week, called for a single Certified Sustainable Palm Oil scheme for Europe-bound palm and other vegetable oil exports to ensure they are produced in an environmentally sustainable way.
“This is not fair and Malaysia and Indonesia will be at the forefront to meet up with these lawmakers and try to convince them to rescind the decision,” Mah, who is also Gerakan president told reporters before attending a weekend retreat titled “Political Brainstorming on General Election Preparations,” here yesterday.
Mah said at least 600,000 people in Malaysia were involved in the palm oil sector and maybe one million in Indonesia.
“Malaysia will also lose its revenue from this unfair decision,” he said.
Malaysia and Indonesia are the world’s top producers of palm oil, accounting for around 85% of global output.
In another development, Mah said Gerakan has already submitted 45 names of potential candidates, with half of them new faces, to be fielded in the next general election.
Mah also added that the names that were submitted are Gerakan coordinators who are working very hard to serve people in their respective areas.
“We have solved our internal differences and now we are working as one heart and one team to face the adversities and challenges ahead of the coming general elections.
“With the cooperation of other Barisan Nasional component parties, we are confident of doing better,” he added.