KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 11 — The Indian High Commisioner to Malaysia, Shri Mridul Kumar, today rubbished any incident of a palm oil boycott by India against Malaysia, when asked about the update on the reported disputes between the two nations.
Speaking to Malay Mail, Mridul said that the Indian government makes its own stand on matters as such, and no other organisation can speak on its behalf.
“If you issue a statement, will the Malaysian government follow?
“That’s what I’m saying. If you issue a statement, in your capacity, does that mean the Malaysian government is saying that?” Mridul responded.
He was asked about his government’s stand on the issue, after an Indian trade group of oilseed crushers had reportedly called on its members to boycott importing Malaysian palm oil in October.
This declaration was reportedly made after New Delhi’s protest against Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s remarks on the Kashmir conflict during the United Nations’ General Assembly in September.
“It’s the palm oil association, not the government of India. Where is the dispute? You have to tell me where is the dispute?
“What I’m saying is, when you say there is a palm oil dispute, where is the dispute? I’m buying it, you’re selling it. It’s as simple as that,” he said, when met at an event here.
Mridul said that there is also a “great demand” for palm oil in India and as such, more of the said product is needed.
Dr Mahathir previously drew the ire of Indian nationals with his speech on the invasion and occupation of Kashmir, the Muslim-majority region also claimed by Pakistan.
This led to a heightened boycott call against Malaysia on social media, which began trending on Twitter.
National news wire Bernama later reported that the Indian trade body representing the republic’s oilseed crushers, had urged its members not to buy Malaysian palm oil.
However, New Delhi did not formally say it will boycott Malaysian palm oil.
On October 22, Dr Mahathir said that Malaysia will look into the possible repercussions of an Indian boycott of its locally-produced palm oil.
He also said that while Malaysia is friendly to everyone as it needs markets for its products, it will not hesitate to speak up if the situation calls for it.
Source : Malay Mail