Small, but thoughtful, meaningful gesture by Malaysia to the world

The ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict have caused the prices of sunflower seed oil to surge and supply continues to decrease 


THOUGH we may be miles away, the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict is bound to have some form of economic impact on us. 

The world’s economy is all about trade and it works like an economic cycle and when any part of that cycle is disrupted, the entire system suffers. 

Russia and Ukraine are huge exporters of sunflower seed oil and many nations, especially those in Europe, rely heavily on it for their daily commercial and personal uses. 

Therefore, with the ongoing conflict, its prices have skyrocketed while supply continues to decrease. 

Malaysia and many other Asean nations are not affected by this sunflower seed crisis as we depend more, if not solely, on palm oil for our needs. Malaysia and Indonesia are after all the leading producers of palm oil in the world.

The West has been critical of our palm oil industry as they claim we are damaging our environment by chopping down trees to make way for our plantations. 

This is among the many things which the West poorly understands about us, Asean nations. 

Deforestation is an issue across the world and like many others, Malaysia has laws in place to ensure a certain percentage of our country always remains green. 

It is not the West who are concerned, we too, as Malaysians want to ensure our beautiful tigers, orang utans, tapir and a host of other wildlife, and birds have a good place to grow and breed. 

A large majority of us are also nature lovers and there is no way we would let anyone ravage our forests. 

From what I have read, our palm oil industry uses modern technology, latest fertilisers and replanting techniques to ensure sustainability, and there is no need for any more forest clearing. 

With the abundance of palm oil we have here and the more than enough cooking oil supply, I must say it was a truly wonderful gesture from our government to offer help to those affected by the sunflower seed oil crisis. 

The Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin had recently said that her ministry was ready to assist those in need to cater for their commercial and personal needs. 

After all, there is nothing else much that Malaysia can offer to those affected by the war, so this is truly a very thoughtful and generous gesture from our government. 

Though it may seem small to some, I cannot imagine a household without cooking oil. Hats off to the government and Zuraida for having thought of this meaningful gesture. 

Augustine Abdullah Peters 

The views expressed are of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the stand of the newspaper’s owners and editorial board.