Ministers, Malaysians urged to help defend palm oil industry when abroad

KUALA LUMPUR: All Malaysians, especially Cabinet ministers and Members of Parliament, should help defend the palm oil industry and hit out at efforts discriminating the commodity when they are abroad, said Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok.

She said the proactive action was necessary to help communicate accurate information to outsiders, including in Europe, which has a negative view of the industry, claiming it damaged the environment and was unhealthy.

Teresa Kok Suh Sim

“I feel that a single ministry cannot fight the campaign waged by the whole of Europe and western countries, which are anti-palm oil due to issues of deforestation and health.

“So, all ministers going abroad, when speaking at international forums, must defend the palm oil industry and criticise efforts discriminating our palm industry,” she said during the question-and- answer session at Dewan Negara yesterday.

She was replying to a question from Senator Alan Ling Sie Kiong, who wanted to know the efforts and results of fighting the unfair restriction policy on local palm oil by the European Union.

According to her, the “Love MY Palm Oil” programme launched in January was aimed at giving all Malaysians accurate information about the industry, so that they could rebut any discriminatory allegations.

“Every Malaysian and members of this assembly (Dewan Negara) and   the Dewan Rakyat, irrespective of which party you are from, must work together to make this campaign a success…we hope that through this campaign Malaysians will love palm oil and defend our palm oil in the future,” she said.

On biodiesel, Kok said her ministry had yet to receive any complaints after the use of biodiesel B10 (a mixture of 10 per cent palm biodiesel and 90 per cent petroleum diesel) for the transport sector was implemented, adding that it was now planning the use of biodiesel B20 next year.

She added that the use of biodiesel B7 for the industrial sector would be implemented beginning July 1.

“The use of biodiesel will boost demand for palm oil and this will help our smallholders,” she said. – Bernama