Oil palm landowners with land over 100 acres risk getting their licence revoked if they fail to secure the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certification from next year onwards, says Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok.
She said the move was to show the government’s seriousness about the implementation of the MSPO certification.
“As of October 2019, 328 palm oil mills, or 72.6 percent of the total 448 palm oil mills are MSPO certified,” she told a press conference after officiating the Malaysian Palm Oil Board’s International Palm Oil Congress and Exhibition 2019 in Kuala Lumpur today.
Earlier in her speech, Kok said as of October 2019, up to 60 percent of the total oil palm planted area are MSPO certified.
“The government targets 70 per cent of the oil palm planted area to be MSPO certified by February 2020,” she said.
On Malaysia’s move to seek World Trade Organisation intervention against the European Union’s discriminative policies against palm oil, Kok reiterated that a cabinet paper on the issue had been circulated among the ministers.
“We will present and discuss the paper in the cabinet by next month,” she said.
Meanwhile, Kok said the palm oil industry in Malaysia had been instructed to adhere to the EU’s prescribed level of 3MCPDE (3-Monochloropropane-1, 2-diol esters) of 2.5 ppm for food products by 2021.
“A few rounds of consultations with our industry players were held, and we are now in the process of enforcing several regulations to ensure that palm oil produce meets the acceptable safety level for 3MCPDE,” she said.
The minister also added that beginning next year, the government would look into setting up a specific fund for green initiatives, especially for tree planting and wildlife conservation, whereby a levy of RM1 would be collected for the purpose.
Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad was also present at the opening ceremony today.