‘We are too small to retaliate’: Malaysian PM says after India bans palm oil from Malaysia

After India imposed restrictions on imports of palm oil from Malaysia, Malaysia has come under pressure. Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said that Malaysian is a very small country hence it can not take retaliatory trade action against India over its boycott of palm oil purchases amid a political row between the two countries.

PM Modi’s action to ban Palm oil from Malaysia will likely to help Indonesia, the biggest exporter of crude palm oil.

“We are too small to take retaliatory action. We have to find ways and means to overcome that,” Mahathir told reporters in Langkawi, a resort island off the western coast of Malaysia.

India, The world’s biggest buyer of edible oils, stopped importing palm oil from Malaysia by asking Indian importers to look elsewhere after PM Mahathir spoke over Kashmir issue in the UN where he said, “India ‘invaded, occupied’ Kashmir”.

Mahathir did not stop here and went on to criticize India’s citizenship law, saying he believed it was “grossly unfair”.

Malaysia stands nowhere in front of India as India has influenced the whole world through its economy. Malaysia’s economy doesn’t stand parallel to the Indian economy.

India has been Malaysia’s biggest buyer of palm oil since 2014, according to industry data. Last year, India was the largest buyer of Malaysian palm oil, taking 4.4 million metric tons, followed by No. 2 China at 2.5 million metric tons.

The third-largest buyer was Pakistan, taking 1.08 million tonnes, according to data from the Malaysia Palm Oil Council. 

Writer, historian, and activist Dharam Sikarwar is a very active author The Youth. He writes on national and international issues, environment, politics. He is an avid book reader as well.