KUALA LUMPUR (16 Jan): Malaysia’s oil palm smallholders took to the streets of downtown Kuala Lumpur today to protest Europe’s proposed palm oil ban.
The European Union’s (EU) planned ban on palm oil threatens 650,000 smallholders and over 3.2 million Malaysians who rely on the palm oil industry for their livelihoods.
The Malaysian Government has previously warned if any ban on palm oil would be implemented by the EU, then the Malaysian Government would take the necessary actions in order to protect the rights and livelihoods of Malaysian smallholders.
In a statement today, President of the National Association of Small Holders (NASH), Datuk Haji Aliasak Haji Ambia, said Europe imposing a “Crop Apartheid” on farmers from the developing world would violate every United Nations' treaty that Europe had signed.
Meanwhile, Dayak Oil Palm Planters Association (DOPPA) President Dr Richard Mani Banda said Europe’s actions undermine the indigenous communities of Borneo.
"This cuts off income from families to feed their children and send them to school with good supplies like the kids of Berlin and London have. This is modern day colonialism,” Banda said.
Federal Land Development Authority (FELDA) chairman Tan Sri Shahrir Abdul Samad meanwhile said over 112,000 FELDA smallholders in Malaysia will be harmed by this ban.