Malaysian Oil Palm Smallholders Protest Europe’s “Crop Apartheid”

Thousands of Smallholders March Outside EU Embassy in Downtown Kuala Lumpur

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, 16 January 2018 – In a massive show of opposition to the European Union’s efforts to impose a “Crop Apartheid” on Malaysian Palm Oil, Malaysia’s Oil Palm smallholders took to the streets of downtown Kuala Lumpur today to protest Europe’s proposed Palm Oil ban.

The EU’s planned ban on Palm Oil threatens 650,000 smallholders and over 3.2 million Malaysians who rely on the Palm Oil industry for their livelihoods. Rural communities across Malaysia would be devastated by the proposed restriction and thousands would be driven into poverty. The Malaysian Government has previously warned that if any ban on Palm Oil would be implemented by the EU, then the Malaysian Government would take the necessary actions in order to protect the rights and livelihoods of Malaysian smallholders.

Dato’ Haji Aliasak Bin Haji Ambia, President, National Association of Small Holders (NASH), said:

“Europe is imposing a “Crop Apartheid” on farmers from the developing world. This violates every United Nations treaty Europe has signed up for. We won’t forget neither will we allow this discrimination to continue.”

Tan Sri Shahrir Abdul Samad, Chairman of the Federal Land Development Authority (FELDA), said:

“The proposed EU ban on Palm Oil biofuels, under the Renewable Energy Directive, is discriminatory and must be removed. Over 112,000 FELDA smallholders in Malaysia will be harmed by this ban.”

Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, Chairman, Sarawak Land Consolidation & Rehabilitation Authority (SALCRA), said:

Malaysia strongly condemns any actions by European politicians that will discriminate against our oil palm smallholders. The policies that the EU is proposing to introduce will harm Malaysia’s rural communities and reduce incomes for Malaysian families. These are consequences that we cannot accept.”

Dr Richard Mani Banda, President, Dayak Oil Palm Planters Association (DOPPA), said:

“Europe’s actions undermine the Indigenous communities of the Borneo.  This cuts off income from families to feed their children and send them to school with good supplies like the kids of Berlin and London have.  This is modern day colonialism.”

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Faces of Palm Oil is a joint project of the National Association of Small Holders (NASH), the Federal Land Development Authority (FELDA), the Dayak Oil Palm Planters Association (DOPPA), the Sarawak Land Consolidation and Rehabilitation Authority (SALCRA) and the Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) that seeks to advocate on behalf of Malaysian smallholders. To learn more, visit FacesOfPalmOil.org.