MALAYSIAN MINISTER HEARTENS BY SUPPORT AGAINST EU PALM OIL BAN

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia Feb 17 — Malaysia has received support from leading European Union (EU) countries over its stand in opposing any discriminatory measures against palm oil.

Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Mah Siew Keong said this was conveyed to him during his just-concluded trip to Europe where he led a Malaysian delegation for the Malaysia-EU Palm Oil Consultation.

A European Parliament resolution on Jan 17 called for the phasing out of palm oil from the EU biofuel programme by 2020, claiming that it resulted in the destruction of forests.

I went there to meet their ministers to convey the message that Malaysia wants equal treatment in terms of trade. This is an important issue for us because 40 per cent of our palm oil producers are smallholders and that the decision will affect their livelihood,” Mah said.

The Gerakan president told reporters this after attending his party’s Chinese New Year open house here yesterday.

We want them to know that palm oil is a highly regulated industry here and we have a sustainable policy which protects the forest,” he said, adding that he had received commitment from a number of countries against the proposed ban.

In a previous statement, Mah said the Malaysian government opposed the biased resolution which discriminated palm oil against other vegetable oils, adding that it would affect the livelihood of 650,000 palm oil smallholders in Malaysia.

Spain is reported to be the latest EU country to speak against the resolution after France, Sweden, the United Kingdom (Conservative MPs � part of the governing party of UK Prime Minister Theresa May), Germany and the Netherlands.

Source: NAM News Network