Palm oil: Malaysia to strengthen ties with India


NEWLY-appointed Primary Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Dr Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali said Malaysia would strengthen its ties with India, particularly to boost palm oil exports.

Relations between the two countries became strained following a political row linked to criticism of New Delhi’s actions in Kashmir and India’s new citizenship law.

Mohd Khairuddin said the ministry would send a delegation to India as soon as possible to resolve the issue through negotiations.

“We will prepare a Cabinet paper, in which one of the proposals would be for Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to make an official visit and rebuild our ties with India particularly with regard to palm oil,” he told a press conference at the ministry in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Meanwhile, he said the ministry, formerly known as the Ministry of Primary Industries would continue to strengthen and enhance the policies made by the previous government, among which is the Biodiesel B20 Programme.

The programme entails blending 20% palm methyl esters with 80% petroleum diesel to cater to the transport sector.

The ministry would also focus on assisting rubber smallholders through raising the rubber production incentive.

“I am looking at increasing the incentive for scrap rubber although of course, the ministry will have to study it first and hopefully it will turn out to be what is best for the rubber tappers,” he added.