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 France admits bad press against Malaysia baseless, says DPM

21.03.2019 (The Star Online) - PARIS: Several French parliamentarians and political leaders have admitted that the negative campaign by the European Union (EU) on Malaysian palm oil is unfounded, says Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.The Deputy Prime Minister said they expressed their views during a meeting here.

“They said they had been to Malaysia and felt that it had a good environment, and admitted that our palm oil has received negative publicity.

“They saw for themselves and know that the negative campaign

is baseless. They admitted that the Malaysian palm oil industry is not badly practised as claimed,” Ber­nama reported her as saying.

Wan Azizah is on a four-day visit to France starting on Sunday to chair the Management of Social Transform­ation (MOST) Bureau under the United Nations Education and Cul­ture Organisation (Unesco) and the 14th Session of the Inter­govern­mental Council for MOST.

MOST is a scientific programme of Unesco that champions social transformation.

Wan Azizah said in the meeting, the MPs and politicians were also shocked when informed that Malay­sia still has more than 53% forest area.

“Through the negative campaign, they were told that the forest area in Malaysia had reduced when in actuality, we still have more than 53% forest coverage.

“I also told them that our wildlife such as the Malayan tiger and orang­utan are protected,” she said.

Two of the French MPs present in the meeting were LaREM party member Anne Genetet and UDI party member Meyer Habib. They were joined by three other political leaders.

The palm oil industry has been facing wide criticism in the past few years for forest clearing which affected the environment.

The EU Parliament had previously approved a resolution to boycott the consumption of palm oil produced through unsustainable means by 2030. — Bernama