KUALA LUMPUR: All oil palm plantations in the country will be certified within three years, says Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong.
The Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister said at present, only 4% of the 5.7 million hectares of plantations nationwide has been certified under the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil Certification Scheme.
“The Government aims to get larger estates certified by next year and smallholders in 2019.
“This shows our commitment to producing sustainable palm oil.
“Certifying all our plantations is going to cost us a lot of money but we are going to do it. It’s a long term investment,” he told reporters after attending Gerakan Youth election camp at Wisma PGRM yesterday.
Mah was responding to the European Parliament’s resolution last month to introduce a single certification scheme for palm oil entering the EU market and phase out the use of vegetable oils that drive deforestation by 2020.
He added that Malaysian delegates would meet the European Commission and European Parliament representatives in Brussels next month with Indonesia to discuss the matter.
On party’s matters, the Gerakan president said about half of the 45 proposed candidates for the next general election were new faces.
“Almost a third of them are from the youth wing,” he said.
Mah said the party would await clearance from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) on the list of proposed names.
“If the MACC has any doubts, we won’t submit the names to the Prime Minister and Barisan Nasional supreme council.
“We take this very seriously to ensure all potential candidates of the party are clean and accountable,” said Mah.