KUALA LUMPUR: If the European Union (EU) continues to discriminate against palm oil, Malaysia will retaliate by boycotting certain European products, says Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
“Yes, we think we will stop buying some European products. That is one thing that we can do,” he told a press conference at the Parliament lobby on Wednesday (March 20).
On Tuesday (March 19), Dr Mahathir said the government had written to all the heads of government of the EU regarding the matter, so say that Malaysia would retaliate if they continue with this “unfair discrimination against palm oil”.
However, at the time, he did not disclose his plans should the EU continue to restrict palm oil, saying that he would make this known later.
Earlier Wednesday, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail claimed that several French Parliamentarians and political leaders have admitted the EU’s negative campaign against palm oil was unfounded.
This came after she met with them at a hotel in Paris, according to Bernama.
“The Members of Parliament said they have gone to Malaysia and felt that Malaysia has a good environment and admitted that our palm oil has received negative publicity,” she told Bernama and RTM.
Dr Wan Azizah is currently on a four-day visit to France starting Sunday (March 17) to chair the Management of Social Transformation (MOST) Bureau under the United Nations Education and Culture Organisation (Unesco) and the 14th Session of the Intergovernmental Council for MOST.
MOST is a scientific programme of Unesco on social transformation.
Dr Wan Azizah said that her meeting with them, French MPs and politicians were also shocked when informed that Malaysia still has more than 53% of forest areas.
“Through the negative campaign on Malaysian palm oil, they were told the forests of Malaysia have reduced when we still have more 53% forest cover.
“I also told them that our wildlife such as the Malayan tiger and orangutan are protected,” she was quoted as saying by Bernama.
This comes after the EU Parliament approved a resolution to boycott the consumption of palm oil produced through unsustainable means by 2030.