KUALA LUMPUR: Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok will lead a mission to Belgium in May to defend Malaysia’s palm oil industry against action by the European Union.
The EU has decided to phase out the use of palm oil in biofuels among member countries, and a draft EU law classifies palm oil as “high risk” feedstock for greenhouse gas emissions.
The mission will also object to this EU draft.
The draft delegated act will be reviewed by the European Parliament for two months starting March 13. Kok’s visit in May is to oppose the act, which is seen as discriminatory to developing economies and the livelihood of smallholders.
Kok said the mission was among the more aggressive approaches taken by the government to state its position and eliminate any form of discrimination towards Malaysia.
“All this time, government agencies did not have enough funds to promote palm oil. We have not been so successful in fending off allegations thrown by those coached by anti-palm oil NGOs.
“Therefore, I will go to Europe in May to meet with leaders who have an anti-palm oil sentiment and seek to explain further to them on the matter,” she told Bernama while at a government event in Bukit Jalil today.
Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said recently that Malaysia would consider retaliatory action against European exports if the EU proceeded to implement the delegated act.