Kuala Lumpur, Jan 14: Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on Tuesday said he is concerned about India not buying Malaysia’s palm oil, but insisted that “if something goes wrong, you have to say it”.
“If we allow things to go wrong and think only about the money involved, a lot of wrong things will be done,” he told reporters. Asked if his criticism of India would continue to sacrifice the industry as India is the largest palm oil importer for Malaysia, Mahathir said a solution has to be found. “That is something we have to do, which is to find a solution. But the fact is that what happens in India today is causing more problems and unhappiness among the people there,” national news agency Bernama quoted him as saying.
Mahathir was responding to questions if the government was concerned over India’s move to stop buying Malaysian palm oil, following his recent criticism of India’s actions in Kashmir and a new citizenship law. “The whole world feels that it is wrong to discriminate against anybody there,” said Mahathir. Media reports said that Indian palm oil importers were told privately by the government to stop purchasing palm oil from Malaysia, but Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok dismissed the reports.
Kok said it was learned from several discussions that Indian palm oil buyers want Malaysia to increase its export of crude palm oil and reduce the export of refined palm oil. “What boycott? They just want us (Malaysia) to export more crude palm oil and reduce the export of refined palm oil,” she told reporters on Monday. (UNI)