KUALA LUMPUR: Palm oil trade is not affected as there has been no official decision by the Indian government on the palm oil trade boycott, said Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah (pic).
The Foreign Affairs Minister labelled palm oil as "strictly a trade matter", citing his recent meeting at Baku, Azerbajian, with Indian External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar.
"I also told him (Subrahmanyam) that we have been receiving mixed signals from the non-governmental sect from India, with business associations calling for the need to boycott.
"On the other hand Tamil Nadu Congress Chapter is calling for New Delhi not to boycott," he told reporters at Parliament on Thursday (Oct 31).
According to Saifuddin, he was told that the boycott would be detrimental to the 500,000 foreign workers from India who are currently working in Malaysia.
Despite the mixed signals, Saifuddin said that he is confident that the Primary Industries Ministry is taking the necessary measures to work on the matter.
On Oct 21, it was reported that an Indian trade body representing oilseed crushers had advised its members not to buy palm oil from Malaysia, echoing New Delhi's protest against Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's remarks on the Kashmir conflict.
On Oct 22, Dr Mahathir said it is necessary to speak out on issues, even if such remarks can be disliked by some.
Malaysian exported palm oil worth some US$1.65bil (RM6.9bil) to India in 2018.
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