Don’t Meddle, Aussie Senator Told

MELBOURNE: Australian senator Nick Xenophon

should not interfere in Malaysia’s sovereignty, Plantation Industries

and Commodities Minister Tan Sri Bernard Dompok said.



Since 2009, Xenophon, together with the Australian Greens Party and

the Liberal/National Coalition, is supporting “Truth in Labelling –

Palm Oil Bill”.

The Bill is due to be tabled in the Australian Parliament, which is in recess right now, sometime between December and May.

“As an elected representative of the people of Malaysia, Xenophon can

explain directly to me why he thinks he must interfere in our national

sovereignty and path to high-income status.

“Xenophon should

have an opportunity to tell me directly and simply how he knows the best

for my nation than my nation itself,” Dompok said.

He is leading a working visit to promote palm oil, timber and rubber to Australia until August 3.

Dompok said he plans to meet Xenophon during the visit if their busy schedule permits.

He added that despite the Australian Senate Community Affairs

Legislation Committe finding no evidence to support the Bill, these

parties continue their support.

These was further supported by

members of the Australian Parliament and the Australian state government

authorities without any substantiation or evidence.

The

legislation requires the labelling of palm oil in food products, which

is a discriminatory move as it does not require other vegetable oils,

such as soya bean oil, to do the same.

Dompok said international

non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are feeding some Australian

legislators with a series of false and misleading information on

Malaysia’s palm oil industry.

The Bill is aimed at furthering the global campaigns of the NGOs and not protecting the Australian consumers.

“Malaysia and Australia have a long history of cordial and mutually

advantageous relationship. I urge the Australian Parliamnet to reject

senator Xenophon and the Australian Greens for their wholly political

campaign, taking into account the 600,000 Malaysians who rely it for

employment and income,” he said.

Australia bought 121,000 tonnes of Malaysia’s palm oil last year valued at A$150 million (RM484.5 million).

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