National Consumer Foundation calls on PM to address alleged leakage in Malaysia’s oil palm industry

A worker collects palm oil fruits at a plantation in Kuala Selangor January 2, 2020. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
A worker collects palm oil fruits at a plantation in Kuala Selangor January 2, 2020. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

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PUTRAJAYA, Sept 21 — The National Consumer Foundation or Yayasan Pengguna Negara Malaysia (YPNM) today submitted a memorandum to Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, calling for action on the alleged leakage in the oil palm industry.

Its president, Datuk Mohd Firdaus Abdullah said the alleged leakage had affected the income of almost 700,000 oil palm smallholders nationwide, including that of Federal Land Development Authority (Felda) and Federal Land Consolidation and Rehabilitation Authority (Felcra).

He said the foundation also proposed the setting up of a special committee comprising the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), Attorney-General’s Chambers, Royal Malaysia Police, Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities and the relevant enforcement authorities to investigate the staff of agencies involved in the oil palm industry.

When met after handing over the memorandum to Prime Minister’s special officer Azril Mohd Amin at the Perdana Putra Building here, Mohd Firdaus said the oil palm smallholders had suffered from the leakage mainly  due to the illegal sale by operators of lorries delivering crude palm oil from palm oil mills to the refineries.

He said YPNM’s investigation found that with each delivery, almost 1,000kg of the crude palm oil would be sold to illegal buyers waiting by the roadside.

Mohd Firdaus claimed that the illegal purchase of the crude palm oil was being done in an organised manner and was protected by the palm oil development authority, causing the industry to suffer losses of between RM700 million and RM1 billion annually.

“We hope the illegal activities can be addressed to further develop the oil palm industry, to return the appropriate price for the sale of fresh fruit bunches nationwide, and to prevent tax revenue losses for the government,” he added. — Bernama

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