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Oil palm industry: No scientific evidence justifying criticism of Malaysia, says Johari

April 25, 2024

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia always adhered to the concept of sustainability to strengthen the country’s oil palm industry by ensuring no deforestation activities or forced labour, in compliance with international standards.

Therefore, as the world’s second-largest palm oil producer, the Plantation and Commodities Ministry, through the Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC), intensifies efforts to counter allegations from the European Union (EU) and restrictions faced by the industry in terms of its sales.

Plantation and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani in an interview on TV3 said there was no evidence justifying accusations against Malaysia for its oil palm practices.

“In fact, if you look at the effectiveness and efficiency of using land and also compare that with all the edible oil in the world, palm oil is the most efficient edible oil as far as land use is concerned.

“Therefore if you talk about deforestation, this is the best edible oil which contributes to the least deforestation in the world,” he said.

The palm oil industry has shown resistance to the uncertain global economy and continues to become an integral part of the national economy by contributing nearly three per cent of the national gross domestic product income.

Apart from that, there are about 450,000 small holders and three million skilled and unskilled labourers who benefit from the palm oil plantation industry.

The government will continue to dismiss the accusations made by the EU with constant improvement to all palm oil products via the MSPO Certification.

Johari said there were three main criteria of MSPO.

The first, he said, was that no certification would be given if the applicant does not have the land title.

“Second, if you plant oil palm in the jungle and there is no land title you are going to be unable to sell and third is to make sure that there are no deforestation activities,” he said.

So far, 97 per cent of the total oil palms planted in Malaysia is MSPO certified.

Source : NST