While you were away for the New Year’s festivities, the Malaysian Minister for Plantation Industries and Commodities, Mah Siew Keong, authored an opinion editorial for the leading German business and financial newspaper, Handelsblatt.
Minister Mah Siew Keong writes that the European Parliament’s effort to ban Palm Oil biofuel will become a “poverty trap for 650,000 farmers” in Malaysia, and lead to a downward spiral for 3.2 million Malaysians.
Malaysia calls upon the German government to put a stop to the campaign by Brussels and the far-left to ban Palm Oil biofuels that will drive up poverty in South East Asia, and undermine Europe’s goals in the region. Malaysia also reminds the German government of assurances provided to Malaysian Prime Minister Najib by Chancellor Merkel against the imposition of any form of discrimination against Palm Oil.
The Minister writes:
“In my country, smallholders own 39% of the acreage of oil palm. The “liquid gold” allows them a better life – with functioning infrastructure such as hospitals and schools. As a government, we know that sustainability and social standards are of fundamental importance in Germany. The same applies to Malaysia. With our own certification, the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil Standard (MSPO), we are a world leader.”
“EU certification is not the only threat: the proposed Renewable Energy Directive aims to banish palm oil as a source of energy. If that happens, political machinations in the European Parliament will become a poverty trap for 650,000 farmers. That is totally unacceptable! For many, the cultivation of palm oil is the only basis of life. Farmers’ efforts to help themselves should be rewarded and not punished in Brussels.”
Read the full op-ed from the Minister in Handelsblatt here.