Planters want Tuns to help fight their cause

Oil palm planters want the government to appoint Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Tun Dr Lim Keng Yaik as special envoys of the industry to help counter unfounded allegations against the commodity.

Earlier this week, planters from Malaysia and Indonesia, the world's top two palm oil producers, formed a coalition to deal with intensifying opposition.

Fierce rivalry from competing vegetable oils grown in Europe and North America has seen some underhanded tactics being adopted by developed nations to curb the growth of the palm oil trade. Well-funded activist groups like Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and Rainforest Action Network from Europe and North America and their affiliates in Malaysia and Indonesia blame the planters for destroying forests and decimating the orang utan population.

"Dr M and Keng Yaik are both sharp and articulate. They can outsmart, outdebate and outtalk all these NGOs who are spreading lies about oil palm planting," said Incorporated Society of Planters chairman Daud Amatzin, who is also the executive director of Felda Plantations Sdn Bhd.

Dr Mahathir was Prime Minister for 22 years until 2003. Dr Lim was Primary Industries Minister from 1986 to 2004. Subsequently he headed the Energy, Water and Communications Ministry from 2004 to 2008.

Although both Dr Mahathir and Dr Lim have long retired from government service, they continue to participate actively in public lectures and gatherings.

4 Responses to Planters want Tuns to help fight their cause

  1. I think people really ought to step back and look at our 'green' rural areas. Our jungles have been mostly replaced by these oil palm estates, and that is not very good news for biodiversity.

    Nature is a library we borrow our biotech from. Don't destroy it now for a few quick bucks.

  2. Hello Anonymous,
    You are sorely mistaken about our jungles having been mostly replaced by oil palm estates.
    1. Oil palm estates are legally planted on land zoned as agriculture.
    2. More than 55% of Malaysia's landmass is set aside for forest reserve and national parks like Taman Negara and Mulu Caves.
    3. If you really care about loss of biodiversity, please compare to the biodiversity loss caused by rapeseed and soybean fields in the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Canada and the United States of America.
    4. Please preach nature destruction to rapeseed and soybean farmers in the developed nations. How about the frogs, fox, beavers in the shrinking forests of Europe. Don't they deserve equal love from you? If you are a nature lover, my friend, please show your concern to the rapeseed and soybean farmers in Europe and North America, too.

  3. To Anonymous,

    Biotech work on palm oil vitamin E is already showing good progress in the prevention of killer deseases like stroke.
    In view of its live-saving attributes, there should be more biotech attention to palm oil nutrients and vitamins.

  4. Let us all inculcate love for nature, not hate for oil palms. Oil palm trees is part of nature, too. NAMO AMITABHA....

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