Malaysian Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities, Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong reaffirmed the Malaysian Government’s stance that it will retaliate if the proposed EU Palm Oil ban comes into law, and outlined that other Asian nations will also join in the action.
The EU’s exports to Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand number more than €40 billion annually.
The Minister said:
“If these hate campaigns and discriminatory policy against palm oil were to go on, we can also retaliate. Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand are collectively big purchasers of EU products.”
“Why is oil palm cultivation demonised when it is proven to be the most sustainable oil crop when compared to rapeseed and sunflower grown in the EU? … Why are our oil palm planters being discriminated? What we want are equal opportunities to trade our palm oil. Is that too much to ask?”
Read the full comments from the Minister here.
Malaysian small farmer leaders also condemned the EU’s proposed ban. Tan Sri Shahrir Abdul Samad, Chairman of the Federal Land Development Authority (FELDA), declared:
“This EU ban, if it is implemented, would cause significant harm to ordinary Malaysians, reducing the quality of life of our small farmers, and taking money out of the pockets of communities across Malaysia. We cannot allow this to happen.”
Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, Chairman of the Sarawak Land Consolidation & Rehabilitation Authority (SALCRA), said:
“We must not take any chances: the livelihoods and incomes of tens of thousands of Sarawak’s small farmers are at stake. I urge all readers to join us in opposing the EU’s proposed ban on palm oil biofuels, which would undermine Sarawak’s agricultural success story”.
Professor Datuk Dr. Ahmad Ibrahim, Fellow at the Academy of Sciences Malaysia, UCSI University, also criticised the EU’s ban, writing:
“EU is among those that support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Clearly, the palm oil ban…is not a reflection of such support. The ban contradicts the first and important goal under SDGs, which is to reduce poverty. If this is not hypocrisy, I do not know what is”.