The Jakarta Post
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has said Indonesia and Malaysia need to fight together against the European Union's plan to restrict exports of crude palm oil (CPO) and its derivative products to member countries of the union.
The prime minister said he could not accept the environmental issue as the EU's argument for restricting CPO exports from Malaysia and Indonesia.
“We have to fight together [against the policy]. Their argument about deforestation by [palm oil] businesses is not valid,” said Mahathir after meeting with President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo at the Bogor Palace in West Java on Friday.
He made this statement while talking about the importance of Indonesia and Malaysia cooperating on international issues.
“We remember that European countries in the past have destroyed forests. No one could deny it,” said Mahathir, adding that the real reason for CPO restriction was that local vegetable oils such as soybean and rapeseed oil could not compete with CPO.
He said President Jokowi had agreed to cooperate closely with Malaysia to fight against what Mahathir called a discriminatory policy against the commodity. (bbn)