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KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 10 — Hygiene products produced using palm oil meant the industry was an unsung hero in the fight against Covid-19, said Datuk Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali.
The plantation industries and commodities minister also said the industry was a crucial element in helping the Malaysian economy recover from the pandemic.
Khairuddin pointed out that soaps and detergents that were among the most important protective measures against Covid-19 were largely produced using palm oil.
“The basic ingredients of hand sanitizer alcohol that are widely used to eliminate the virus can also be produced with palm oil.
“Indirectly, the use of palm-based products has also opened up business opportunities for pharmaceutical entrepreneurs at this challenging time and place,” he said in the opening speech for the Sawit Anugerah Tuhan (Palm Oil, God’s gift) campaign.
Khairuddin said that in 2020, Malaysia’s palm oil industry generated RM72.8 billion through palm oil and palm product exports to the international market.
“This amount is much higher (about 14.18 percent higher) compared to RM63.73 billion recorded in 2019 and the highest since 2017 (RM77.9 billion). The status of the palm oil industry as one of the four largest contributors to the economy in Malaysia for the last 15-18 years proves that the palm oil industry is very important to developing small countries like Malaysia,” he said.
Khairuddin also announced the new website (www.sawit.com.my) for the campaign, which is aimed at celebrating the contributions of the palm oil industry to the socio-economic development in Malaysia, especially in improving the living standards of the people in rural areas.
The site also seeks to further raise awareness on the benefits of Malaysian palm oil as well as countering the anti-palm oil campaigns.
He said that during the pandemic, various promotional activities will be done online, combining educational elements through social media, visual appeal, and aesthetic value will be implemented throughout the country to make this campaign a success.
“I urge the public to browse this website to get information on Malaysian palm oil as well as follow the current developments in the activities carried out during this campaign.
“In addition, the public can also participate in the ‘Palm is God’s gift’ online contest on this website to assess their knowledge and understanding of Malaysian palm oil as well as stand a chance to win various attractive prizes provided,” he said.