RM510 MIL­LION MORE FOR OIL PALM SMALL­HOLD­ERS

THE al­lo­ca­tion, an­nounced by the prime min­is­ter, will ben­e­fit 600,000 small­hold­ers en­gaged ei­ther in re­plant­ing oil palm or in new schemes. The funds are on top of a bud­geted RM1.75 bil­lion for the 2010-2020 pe­riod.

New Straits Times - - Front Page - HARIZ MOHD AND OOI TEE CHING

THE govern­ment has al­lo­cated an­other RM510 mil­lion for oil palm re­plant­ing and new schemes by small­hold­ers un­til 2020, Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Na­jib Razak an­nounced yes­ter­day.

Speak­ing at the Malaysian palm oil in­dus­try’s 100th an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tion at Sime Darby’s Ten­na­ma­ram Es­tate here, he said the Plan­ta­tion In­dus­tries and Com­modi­ties Min­istry had re­quested RM130 mil­lion for this year.

“I am pleased to an­nounce an ad­di­tional al­lo­ca­tion of RM510 mil­lion for the small­hold­ers’ oil palm re­plant­ing scheme and new small­hold­ers’ plant­ing scheme for three years,” he told a 5,000strong crowd, com­pris­ing mem­bers of the in­dus­try, in­clud­ing small­hold­ers.

This was on top of the ex­ist­ing RM1.75 bil­lion oil palm re­plant­ing bud­get for in­de­pen­dent small­hold­ers from 2010 to 2020, which would ben­e­fit 600,000 small­hold­ers.

The RM1.75 bil­lion, for in­de­pen­dent small­hold­ers, falls un­der 10th and 11th Malaysia Plans.

In ad­di­tion, the prime min­is­ter said in­vest­ments were also needed for re­search and de­vel­op­ment, as well as strength­en­ing hu­man cap­i­tal, tar­get­ing pro­fes­sion­als to ven­ture into the field and al­lo­cat­ing funds for new plant­ing of oil palm and re­plant­ing schemes.

He also warned Malaysia and In­done­sia would re­tal­i­ate against coun­tries that had erected trade bar­ri­ers to palm oil ex­ports.

Na­jib said Malaysia and In­done­sia must stress to coun­tries boy­cotting palm oil that “we also buy a lot from them”.

“I have dis­cussed with In­done­sian Pres­i­dent Joko Wi­dodo to have our min­is­ters lead­ing the Coun­cil of Palm Oil Pro­duc­ing Coun­tries to visit them, in­clud­ing the Euro­pean Union, and con­vince them that their cam­paign and neg­a­tive claims against palm oil are base­less.

“We must also tell them that Malaysia and In­done­sia are not coun­tries with­out ca­pa­bil­i­ties.

“Malaysia and In­done­sia also buy a lot from them, and who­ever is boy­cotting palm oil may see re­tal­i­a­tion from us,” said Na­jib

Also present were Plan­ta­tion In­dus­tries and Com­modi­ties Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong, Ur­ban Well­be­ing, Hous­ing and Lo­cal Govern­ment Min­is­ter Tan Sri Noh Omar, Mah’s deputy, Datuk Datu Nas­run Datu Mansur, Sime Darby Bhd chair­man Tan Sri Ab­dul Ghani Oth­man and Sime Darby Bhd pres­i­dent and group chief ex­ec­u­tive Tan Sri Mohd Bakke Salleh.

Na­jib was re­fer­ring to coun­tries that had launched cam­paigns to boy­cott palm oil ex­ports, al­leg­ing that planters killed orang utan and caused en­vi­ron­men­tal de­struc­tion.

Na­jib said the agri­cul­ture in­dus­try was one of the most suc­cess­ful ini­tia­tives by the govern­ment in erad­i­cat­ing poverty.

He said he was con­fi­dent that the in­dus­try would con­tinue to pros­per, be­yond the Na­tional Trans­for­ma­tion 2050 vi­sion.

He also an­nounced that the Ed­u­ca­tion Min­istry had agreed to al­lo­cate RM4 mil­lion to build a new Tamil school in the es­tate here. The school will see pupils from the ex­ist­ing Tamil school in Kampung Baru Es­tate be­ing trans­ferred once it is built.

Na­jib also launched a spe­cial edi­tion 100 Years’ Palm Oil In­dus­try stamp and cof­fee-ta­ble book.

The late sec­ond prime min­is­ter Tun Ab­dul Razak Hus­sein was awarded the Oil Palm In­dus­try Icon for his con­tri­bu­tions to the com­modi­ties sec­tor. It was posthu­mously ac­cepted by Na­jib.

Other in­dus­try per­son­al­i­ties and or­gan­i­sa­tions were also hon­oured, namely the late French­man Henri Fau­con­nier, who pi­o­neered the plant­ing of oil palm on a com­mer­cial scale in the es­tate 100 years ago.

To­day, the es­tate be­longs to Sime Darby Bhd.

Fau­con­nier was given the Oil Palm In­dus­try Founder’s Award, which was ac­cepted by Jeremie Fon­taine, his great grand­son.

Other prizes and win­ners were the Small Time Planter Spe­cial Awards (Ah­mad Sidek from Penin­su­lar Malaysia, Mohd Sabri Di­meng from Sabah and Musa Ma­ton from Sarawak); the First Com­mer­cial Oil Palm Plan­ta­tion Award (Ten­na­ma­ram Es­tate); and the Pi­o­neer­ing Govern­ment Oil Palm Scheme (Felda Taib An­dak in Ku­lai, Jo­hor).

PIC BY ROSLIN MAT TAHIR

Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Na­jib Razak plant­ing an oil palm at the Malaysian palm oil in­dus­try’s 100th an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tion at Ten­na­ma­ram Es­tate yes­ter­day.

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