Malaysia’s Primary Industries Minister expressed disappointment of

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  • 02 May 2019 12:00 AM
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Malaysia Minister Lambasts Singapore’s Stance on Palm Oil

Malaysia’s Primary Industries Minister, Teresa Kok, has expressed disappointment that anti-palm oil sentiment had taken root in Singapore, calling for solidarity with its Southeast Asian neighbour at a time when the European Union is banning palm oil imports over deforestation. Some of the largest palm oil companies are headquartered in Singapore, and Singaporean banks are heavily involved in financing the expansion of palm oil production in countries like Malaysia, the world’s second largest producer country after Indonesia. Kok singled out Singapore Zoo, saying it had “sensationalised” the role that the palm oil trade has played in the plight of orangutans. Kok said that while creating a sustainable consumption and production system for palm oil was important, she warned that it could create “barriers to trade and impinge upon developing nations striving to create more wealth exploitation of their natural resources.” These comments come at a time when Malaysia is fiercely defending the reputation of the palm oil trade as the European Union is planning to ban the use of the commodity in biofuels, because of its ties to deforestation.

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