New Delhi: Malaysia on Tuesday called India’s move to cut back on palm oil purchases ‘temporary,’ even as Pakistan moved in to help Kuala Lumpur saying that it would do its best to purchase more palm oil from Malaysia. Also Read - 'Too Small to Take Retaliatory Action,' Says Malaysian PM on India's Palm Oil Boycott
Last month, India had restricted imports of refined palm oil from Malaysia over Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s criticism of New Delhi’s move to revoke special status to Kashmir and passing of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), an ‘anti-Muslim’ legislation which has triggered protests across the country. Also Read - Malaysia PM Defends Criticism Over CAA, Says 'Need to be Frank' Despite India's Palm Oil Curbs
In a statement, quoting Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok, the Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) said, “Having long-standing bilateral ties, the two nations will overcome the current challenges, and prevail towards mutual and beneficial outcomes.”
Notably, India, the world’s largest edible oil buyer, has also been Malaysia’s top import market since 2014. Last year, it purchased 4.4 million tonnes of palm oil from Malaysia, accounting for 24% of the country’s palm oil exports.
Pakistan, on the other hand, purchased 1.1 million tonnes of palm oil from Malaysia, with its purchase being less than only that of India.
Earlier, responding to India’s move, PM Mahathir had remarked that he would continue to speak out against the ‘wrongdoings,’ even if it costs the country financially.
However, last month he said that Malaysia was too small to take ‘any retaliatory action against India.‘