KUALA LUMPUR: An international school here has came under fire from Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok (pic) for purportedly staging a performance that depicted its students in a protest against oil palm plantations.
According to Kok, the performance had associated the plantations with deforestation and logging.
She described the international school’s performance, which depicted young children, as sowing hatred towards oil palm plantations among the students.
“I urge the school concerned to stop all actions sowing anti-palm oil sentiments among Malaysian students, just like what Europe is doing against the country.
“I also urge the school’s headmaster and the teachers involved to come to my ministry and the Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) to understand all efforts to improve the industry and also all efforts to preserve the environment by industry players.”
Kok pointed out that protests against the palm oil industry have been staged overseas against Malaysia.
“I didn’t expect such a thing to happen in an international school here.
“To the teachers, please come forward to understand what we are doing instead of criticising us.
“I think they are doing a disservice to the country,” she said during a press conference in Parliament on Tuesday (July 2).
The video clip depicted children dressed in environmentally-themed costumes giving a presentation, saying that orangutan in Malaysia are disappearing at an alarming rate due to the production of unsustainable palm oil.
“If we don’t do something about this now, and ensure all palm oil is sustainably grown, within 10 years, these beautiful creatures could be gone from our world forever,” the unidentified children said.
In February 2018, a new study in the scientific journal Current Biology had found that 100,000 orangutan have died in the past 16 years in the island of Borneo.
The major reason for the decline was attributed to the killing of orangutan in unprotected and protected areas, said the journal.