Malaysia to fight ‘no palm oil’ la­bel

> Coun­try to work with In­done­sia to counter prac­tice on prod­ucts in Europe, says PM

The Sun (Malaysia) - - NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS -

BERLIN: Malaysia is set to fight the “no palm oil” la­bel is­sue in Europe, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Na­jib Ab­dul Razak.

“We are go­ing all out to en­gage with the var­i­ous coun­tries,” he told Malaysian me­dia at the end of his three-day of­fi­cial visit to Germany yes­ter­day.

Na­jib, who is also fi­nance minister, said Malaysia will work with In­done­sia to en­gage with Euro­pean Union (EU) mem­ber coun­tries on the is­sue.

He added that Malaysia can­not al­low these coun­tries to dam­age the prospects of Malaysia’s golden crop. Hence, the Plan­ta­tion In­dus­tries and Com­modi­ties minister and Malaysian Palm Oil Coun­cil would work on this.

Ac­cord­ing to sev­eral re­ports, there are about 1,500 prod­ucts with the “no palm oil” la­bel in France, Bel­gium and Italy and that such la­belling can be seen as a move to deny mar­ket ac­cess for palm oil.

Na­jib said he had dis­cussed the is­sue with Ger­man Chan­cel­lor An­gela Merkel in their meet­ing on Tues­day and had ex­plained that Malaysia sub­scribes to sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment of the oil palm in­dus­try and that there was no “slash and burn” prac­tices in the coun­try.

He also in­vited Ger­man law­mak­ers to see it for them­selves.

Na­jib said Merkel had as­sured Malaysia that Germany had no plans to im­pose any tax on palm oil.

“They will also not sup­port any prac­tice of the ‘no palm oil’ la­bel in Germany,” he added.

On an­other mat­ter, he said the Malaysian govern­ment is open to Khaz­anah Na­sional Bhd sell­ing its stake in Sil­terra Malaysia Sdn Bhd to for­eign in­vestors, but only at the right price.

The govern­ment’s strate­gic in­vest­ment arm has a 98% stake in the chip foundry. Talk of sell­ing ei­ther a stake or the en­tire com­pany has been around since 2008.

Na­jib said at­tempts to en­cour­age lo­cal com­pa­nies to buy the stake in Sil­terra have not been fruit­ful.

“We have given ev­ery op­por­tu­nity to the lo­cal part­ners or lo­cal play­ers to try to take over Sil­terra but they have not been able to come up with the nec­es­sary re­sources. Now we open it to for­eign com­pa­nies.

“It is go­ing to be at a price that is ac­cept­able to us and would en­sure that Sil­terra’s op­er­a­tions will ben­e­fit Malaysia as well,” he said when asked if Ger­man wafer fab com­pany X-Fab Sil­i­con Foundaries had of­fered any pro­posal for the stake.

Na­jib ear­lier had a meet­ing with X-Fab CEO Rudi De Winter. X-Fab owns a 65% stake in X-Fab Sarawak Sdn Bhd, with the re­main­ing 35% held by the Sarawak govern­ment. – Ber­nama

AFPPIX

Na­jib and Gent­ing Group chief ex­ec­u­tive Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay vis­it­ing the MV Werften ship­yard with Er­win Sel­ler­ing, pre­mier of the state of Meck­len­burgVor­pom­mern in Wis­mar, northern Germany.

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