India ‘restricts’ M’sian palm oil; Najib ‘congratulates’ govt for its diplomatic gaffe

India ‘restricts’ M’sian palm oil; Najib ‘congratulates’ govt for its diplomatic gaffe

PUCHONG: The Indian government has announced that it would restrict the imports of Malaysia’s refined palm oil into its country.

According to The Edge, the government issued a notice on the matter, adding that refined bleached deodorised palm oil and refined bleached deodorised palmolein has been amended from ‘Free’ category to ‘Restricted’.

The new directive is believed to be in response to Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s constant criticism against the subcontinent.

India is Malaysia’s number one palm oil importer, where it gets most of its refined palm oil. It imports crude palm oil from Indonesia.

In 2018, Malaysia palm oil exports to India was worth US$1.65 billion (RM6.9 billion). Palm oil export contributes to about 2.8% of Malaysia’s gross domestic product and 4.5% of total exports.

Malaysia exported palm oil produce worth US$1.65 billion (RM6.9 billion) to India in 2018. Palm oil accounts for 2.8% of Malaysia’s gross domestic product and 4.5% of total exports. 

Yesterday, Reuters reported that the Indian government had requested its local palm oil refiners to avoid purchasing Malaysian palm oil.

Mahathir courted India’s anger last year by accusing the latter of ‘invading and occupying’ Kashmir by revoking its autonomy.

Recently, the Malaysian premier again rubbed India the wrong way by criticising its newly passed Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2019 by falsely claiming it would affect the citizenships of Muslims in the country.

The Indian government passed the citizenship law to grant asylum and nationality to persecuted religious minorities from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

On related matter, former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak ‘congratulated’ the government for its diplomatic boo-boo which would cause adverse effect to the nation’s economy.

“Finally, the Indian government has banned our palm oil exports. This will definitely affect our local factories compared to the ones in Indonesia,” said the Pekan MP.

By G Vinod