KUALA SELANGOR: Nations which launch boycott against palm oil export will face economic retaliation from Malaysia and Indonesia.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in cautioning such nations said Malaysia and Indonesia must make a point to such countries erecting trade barrier on palm oil that: "we also buy a lot from them".

"I have discussed with Indonesia president Joko Widodo to have our ministers at the Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries (CPOPC) to go to these countries including the European Union, and convince them that their campaign and negative claims against palm oil is baseless.

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

"Malaysia and Indonesia also buy a lot from them, and whoever boycotts palm oil may see retaliation from us," warned Najib.

He said this in his speech at the Malaysian Palm Oil Industry 100th Anniversary celebration, held at Sime Darby's Tennamaran Estate in Bestari Jaya, Kuala Selangor here today.

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 its president and group chief executive Tan Sri Mohd Bakke Salleh.

Najib was commenting on nations which have launched campaigns to boycott palm oil exports, alleging that planters killed Orang Utan and caused massive environmental destruction.

In his speech, Najib said the agricultural industry has proven to be one of the most successful initiative by the federal government in eradicating poverty.

He is confident that the industry will continue to prosper, not just beyond the National Transformation 2050 (TN50) or a hundred years, but much further down the road.

At the event Najib also announced an additional RM510 million allocation as a replanting budget for smallholders to replace their old oil palm trees. This brings the total allocation to RM2.26 billion.

The Prime Minister also announced that the Education Ministry has agreed to allocate RM4 million to build new Tamil vernacular school at the estate. The SJKT, to be equipped with an assembly hall, will see students from existing Tamil school in Kampung Baru Estate transferred to the new school once it is built.

At the event, which saw the presence of some 5,000 members of the industry including smallholders, Najib also launched a special edition 100 Years' Palm Oil Industry postal stamp and coffee table book.

During the event, Najib also received the Oil Palm Industry icon award, posthumously from Mah on behalf of his late father, second prime minister Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, for his contributions to the commodities sector. Other key industry personalities and organisations honoured with awards, was the Oil Palm Industry Founder Award for the late Henri Fauconnier who pioneered the first commercial oil palm estate in the country; the Small Time Planter Special Award’s to Ahmad Sidek from the peninsula, Mohd Sabri Dimeng from Sabah, Musa Maton from Sarawak; the First Commercial Oil Palm Plantation Award to Tennamaran Estate; and the Pioneering Government Oil Palm Scheme to Felda Taib Andak in Kulai, Johor.

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Nations which launch boycott against palm oil export will face economic retaliation from Malaysia and Indonesia. (Pix by ROSLIN MAT TAHIR)