Dr M endorses palm oil in video to combat commodity’s detractors

File picture of a worker collecting palm oil fruit after being harvested at a plantation in Kuala Selangor March 14, 2018. Dr Mahathir urges Malaysians to support the ‘Love MY Palm Oil Campaign’ because it is beneficial for them and the country's economy. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim
File picture of a worker collecting palm oil fruit after being harvested at a plantation in Kuala Selangor March 14, 2018. Dr Mahathir urges Malaysians to support the ‘Love MY Palm Oil Campaign’ because it is beneficial for them and the country's economy. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 17 ― A video clip featuring Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has been released today in support of the year-long “Love MY Palm Oil Campaign”, a government initiative to counter foreign allegations on the commodity.

In the three-minute video, Dr Mahathir dispelled the misconception that palm oil consumption is detrimental to consumers and instead claimed the stigma surrounding palm oil is mere fear-mongering by other competing edible oil producers.

“The main campaign against palm oil is because it competes against other vegetable oils and obviously in the competition, the competitors can try the level best to make palm oil rejected by the consumers.

“But actually there is no basis for that. It is merely of the question of competing edible oils,” he said in the video, which was shared on Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok’s Facebook page tonight.

Pointing out that palm oil is his prefered cooking oil, Dr Mahathir said several scientific tests have been done on palm oil by laboratories in the United States and they had found no detrimental effect when consumed.

He also said the country has been very careful with oil palm cultivation, dismissing the connotation that palm oil production would lead to more deforestation.

In the video, Dr Mahathir urged Malaysians to support the campaign because it is beneficial for them and the country's economy.

The campaign was launched by the Ministry of Primary Industries as anti-palm oil campaign intensifies abroad.

Last December, France’s National Assembly voted to end tax incentives for palm oil biodiesel by 2020, followed later that month by Norway’s parliament’s plan to ban biofuels with palm oil also by 2020.

In 2017, The European Union Parliament had banned the use of palm oil in all European biofuels by 2020, citing environmental concerns.