The Ministry of Primary Industries will capitalise on the RM27 million allocation proposed in the 2020 Budget to intensify the ‘Love My Palm Oil’ campaign to address the negative perception of the country’s oil palm industry.
Its minister, Teresa Kok said the effort needed to be intensified to stabilise palm oil prices and further expand the palm oil market domestically and abroad.
“The RM27 million allocation is dedicated for publicity and campaigns to promote Malaysian palm oil.
“We will use this allocation to promote our palm oil, as well as fight the anti-palm oil campaign organised by NGOs (non-governmental organisations) overseas,” she told reporters after launching the Palm Oil Experience Centre (POEC) at the Sime Darby Plantation Bhd’s estate in Carey Island near here today.
Flouting all good advice the Minister for Primary Industries is continuing to throw good money after bad as she follows her predecessors from BN in insisting there is nothing that is not perfect about Malaysia’s mass monoculture oil palm plantation business.
Unlike those BN predecessors, Ms Kok has no vested interest in continuing with such nonsense (or we sincerely hope not), yet tragically she has turned herself into a banner waving junior cheerleader for a rich and powerful set of businessmen, who don’t need her to wage their battles but are only too relieved not to be dealing with a real minister in charge.
They send her lists of events to chant at and keep her busy.
In fact, this minister’s actual job is to regulate powerful lobbies such as these and to look out for the wider public interest of all Malaysia’s people, including those vulnerable native communities whose lands were stolen by these conniving billion dollar companies.
Yet, just like her BN predecessors, instead of standing up for the wider public, particularly in Sarawak, this minister has chosen to become a puppet to the powerful and a lobbyists’ lackey. Like an obedient lamb she is now pouring yet further public money into more pointless propaganda of the sort long ignored by all sensible observers, who have just suffered months of toxic haze – just one of the by-products of this industry’s greedy, careless practices.
Thanks to this RM27 million dedicated to “fighting NGOs”, campaigners who highight the dangers of eco-destruction and stand up for communities who lost their lands (and would really benefit from the careful distribution of RM27 million) can expect more of the treatment they became used to for years under BN.
Greenwash galore and villification by low-life PR companies, paid to smear, lie, hack and disinform are the stock in trade of such propaganda campaigns. Such attacks on those who speak the truth about this business do nothing to change minds and waste money that could be spent improving lives.
Malaysians need policies to combat haze, combat corruption, combat environmental devastation and deforestation by this rampant cash crop.
Malaysians need a minister who works with Malaysians in mind and not the next likely employer in the private sector.