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MEDIA RELEASE

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Malaysia’s Berjaya Corporation Committed towards Palm Oil and Other Malaysian Commodities

As part of the on-going Love My Palm Oil Campaign (LMPO), Minister of Primary Industries, YB Teresa Kok enlisted the support and commitment of Berjaya Corporation through its Chairman Tan Sri Vincent Tan.

The event hosted at Berjaya Hotel Times Square on Monday 20 January 2020, also showcased a number of Malaysian commodities particularly palm oil, cocoa and pepper successfully incorporated into various food and non-food formulations that are finding niche markets including in Japan and other developed markets.

Tan Sri Vincent Tan was emphatic in stating that Berjaya Corporation was a true supporter of all things Malaysian and his corporation’s base remains firmly in Malaysia.

This also meant that they actively look into various locally grown and available supply chains to be added to their long list of already successful consumer platforms.

In this context he had closely followed the nation’s commodities sectors and found so many unexploited opportunities presented by palm oil, cocoa and pepper.

Minister YB Teresa Kok in welcoming Berjaya Corporation’s commitment assured the business communities that her Ministry was spearheading research on several downstream applications.

Many, particularly those based on Malaysian palm oil and cocoa have been commercialised successfully by small and medium sized entrepreneurs.

The products are formulated and packaged to international standards and are getting international attraction but yet their ability to expand into major markets are limited due to a lack of business experiences and supply chain management.

“In this matter the long term expertise and experience of the Berjaya Corporation which is already world class and demonstrated by their successful management of leading brands such as 7-Eleven, Starbucks and Kenny Rogers could come in handy,” said YB Teresa Kok.

Indeed while interacting with the exhibitors at the event made up largely of the small and medium entrepreneurs both Tan Sri Vincent Tan and YB Teresa Kok exchanged many interesting observations, with Vincent Tan showing keen interest in several products displayed.

He stated that his team would be making further assessment of these products to help map out possible market expansion particularly through his existing enterprises.

Berjaya Corporation also agreed to work with the Ministry of Primary Industries and MPOC to create a palm oil awareness walkabout area and that Berjaya Hotel will get its chefs to recreate palm based recipes for food preparation and presentations in the next two months.

This was deemed timely since 2020 is Visit Malaysia Year and the expected influx of more than 20 million tourists could be given a taste of Malaysia through these primed food recipes developed by Berjaya Hotels and its culinary schools.

Overall YB Teresa Kok stated that these efforts were bearing fruit and the Love My Palm Oil Campaign was being actively supported by various business groups with the most recent commitments from Berjaya Corporation emerging at a most timely juncture.


Ministry of Primary Industries
Putrajaya
22 Januari 2020

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ELIGIBILITY FOR MALAYSIA SUSTAINABLE PALM OIL (MSPO) CERTIFICATION SCHEME INCENTIVES

1. Malaysian Palm Oil Certification Council (MPOCC) would like to refer to the Government announcement on 5 October 2019 that ONLY those who have successfully obtained the Malaysia Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certification or initiated the certification process before 1 January 2020 are eligible to apply for MSPO incentive.

2. Thus, with effect from 1st January 2020, MSPO incentives are only claimable by those entities who have signed agreements with Certification Bodies (CBs) before 1st January 2020 or are already in the process of MSPO certification audit.

3. As such, growers having more than 40.46 ha or 100 acres of oil palm and palm oil processing facilities that have initiated MSPO/SCCS certification process will need to submit a copy of the signed agreement with the appointed Certification Body to MPOCC. The eligible CBs are listed in MPOCC website (https://www.mpocc.org.my/certification-bodies)

4. Estates with areas between 40.46 to 1,000 ha will be eligible for 100% of auditing fees claim, which includes audit man-days, report writing, stakeholders consultation and peer review. In addition, they are also eligible for 50% preparation costs claims, limited to the costs for MSPO policies and system documents, social impact assessment (SIA), environment aspect and impact (EAI) report, high biodiversity value (HBV) report, training for Greenhouse Gas calculation and training for internal audit and management review. The amounts of reimbursement for preparation costs will be up to maximum RM10,000.

5. Estates with areas more than 1,000 ha and palm oil processing facilities such as mill, kernel crusher, refinery, oleochemical plant and biodiesel plant are eligible for 30% incentives of the audit fees.

6. MSPO incentives for independent smallholders and organised smallholders are under the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB). For independent smallholders, MPOB will cover the cost of training, cost of auditing, documentation, personal protective equipment and chemical storage rack. Meanwhile, organised smallholders are eligible for RM55 per hectare to cover the cost of auditing, training, social and environmental impact assessments.


Statement by:
Mr Chew Jit Seng
Chief Executive Officer, MPOCC
21 January 2020

MEDIA RELEASE

MINISTER OF PRIMARY INDUSTRIES YB TERESA KOK REITERATES PAKATAN HARAPAN’S PROMISE TO CLEAN MALAYSIA OF CORRUPTION AND NOTES SOME OF THE KEY EFFORTS TAKEN

Today as the world recognises World Anti-Corruption Day, the various efforts taken by the Pakatan Harapan government as part of the mandate given by Malaysians to clean-up the country should be remembered.

Amongst the very first steps taken to weed out corruption is the formation of the National Centre for Governance, Integrity and Anti-Corruption (GIACC) led by former Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner Tan Sri Abu Kassim Mohamed. The monthly meetings are chaired by the Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad himself, joined by Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Dr Ismail Bakar and all the Secretary Generals of all the ministries.

GIACC coordinates and monitors all activities related to governance, integrity and combating graft. It is also responsible for planning, formulating strategies and evaluating policies in ensuring all government affairs adhere to the principles of good governance, integrity and zero-tolerance towards corruption.

Adhering to the principles where the core leadership of a country must be clean, it is only then that corruption can be gradually diminished. All Pakatan Harapan Members of Parliament have made asset declarations to MACC. We have also taken this a step further by publishing the information online on: mydeclaration.sprm.gov.my, where it is accessible to all and sundry.

The Pakatan Harapan government have also adopted a no-gift policy, where cabinet ministers are not allowed to accept gifts valued more than RM 500 except flowers, food and fruits.

Some key agencies are no longer under the Prime Minister’s Department (PMD) but now report to Parliament. These agencies include the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, the Election Commission, Human Rights Commission of Malaysia and the National Audit Department. The Malaysian Parliament, which was also under the PMD, is an independent entity.

Various measures have been taken by the government and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to stamp out corruption in this country and these efforts have begun to bear fruits. With the slew of corruption cases linking former senior leaders like Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Tan Sri Isa Samad, Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor and more, Malaysia has begun to clear its name from corruption scandals in the eyes of the world.

Let’s not forget the billions of ringgits that vanished into big projects and investment schemes helmed by the previous government. The 2017 Auditor-General’s (AG) Report detailed that Federal Land Development Authority (Felda) lost RM5.7 billion for the financial year ended Dec 31, 2017 (FY17) and Lembaga Tabung Haji had failed to impair RM227.8 million on its investments.

As Pakatan Harapan strives to right many of these wrongs, its efforts have not gone unnoticed. According to the Anti-Corruption Perception Study of MACC Series 13/2018 on the people’s perception regarding the government’s seriousness to fight corruption the index has increased 11% from 59.8% in 2016 to 70.8% last year.

On international indicators, Malaysia has also noted improvements in several important studies or indices such as the Edelsmann Trust Barometer Global which shows the level of public confidence in the government has risen to 60% this year compared to 46% in 2018.

Next month, the global anti-corruption organisation, Transparency International, will release its 2019 Corruption Perception Index (CPI), an annual survey that looks at the perception of corruption in 180 countries.

Last year, Malaysia was among the top three Asean countries ranking after Singapore and Brunei in CPI. We placed one spot higher than 2017 at 61 out of 180 countries. This year, with the launch of the National Anti-Corruption Plan and the pursuit of high-profile cases, Malaysia is likely to improve its standing in CPI.

Under Ministry of Primary Industries, I found that the Malaysian Rubber Board (MRB) was plagued with massive corruption involving corrupt government officials & UMNO cronies. According to the Auditor-General Report, it was short-changed as the previous administration and was forced to sell 2,800 acres of its land at Sg Buloh at below market price of RM1.5 billion in 2010.

We have taken the mandate entrusted by Malaysians to our hearts and will continue to work tirelessly in our efforts of transforming Malaysia into a nation of integrity.

YB Teresa Kok
9 December 2019

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MEDIA RELEASE

MINISTER OF PRIMARY INDUSTRIES YB TERESA KOK EXTENDS HER CONGRATULATIONS TO THE FOUR WOMEN JUDGES PROMOTED

I would like to extend my heartiest congratulations to YAA Dato' Rohana Yusuf on Her Ladyship's appointment as the President of the Court of Appeal. Also, heartiest congratulations to YA Dato' Zaleha Yusof, YA Dato' Zabariah Mohd Yusof, and YA Datuk Hasnah Dato' Mohammed Hashim, who were elevated to the Federal Court.

The appointment of YAA Dato' Rohana Yusuf is a proud first in Malaysian history for a female judge to be appointed as the president of the Court of Appeal. She is the first woman to reach the second-highest position in the judiciary after Tan Sri Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat broke new ground by becoming Malaysia’s first woman chief justice. Her elevation means that the two leaders of the judiciary are now women.

The three newly elevated Federal Court Judges, YA Dato' Zaleha Yusof, YA Dato' Zabariah Mohd Yusof, and YA Datuk Hasnah Dato' Mohammed Hashim should also be applauded as we now have four women judges out of the nine Federal Court judges.

These extraordinary women have demonstrated great depths in their knowledge of the law. They are now taking up top positions in the nation's judiciary and are setting a good example for all young women in Malaysia.

Having such gender diversity at the highest level of the Judiciary is definitely a positive move and should be highly commended. These historic appointments demonstrate that qualifications, skills and knowledge are indeed appreciated in our Malaysia Baharu!

YB Teresa Kok
6 December 2019

 

MEDIA RELEASE

STATEMENT FROM YB TERESA KOK, MINISTER OF PRIMARY INDUSTRIES PALM OIL IS THE BEST AGRI-COMMODITY CROP FOR MALAYSIA

 

Tun Daim was yesterday quoted by the Malay Mail in his report, “No future for palm oil, but coconuts is a possibility”, which I view with much concern. My opinion is that both the oil palm and coconut cultivation which are highly appropriate for our climatic conditions have their respective roles in our environment. When properly managed these could prove complimentary to each other in many ways.

Nevertheless, there is a good reason why Palm oil is still the best agri-commodity for Malaysia. The industry contributed 4.5% to the Malaysian Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and RM67.5 billion or 52.8% of export earnings to the country in 2018.

Our historical venture into this commodity speaks for itself. Under Tun Abdul Razak’s premiership, the nation turned towards oil palm cultivation to address rural poverty. We have never turned back and this golden crop has performed admirably, salvaging our economy many times over. The industry itself benefited through a planned infrastructure support paid by the government that in reality allowed us to achieve our current status as a leading producer and exporter of palm oil.

Today, I agree that the nation’s smallholders are stressed due to lower returns from their small plots of land and we need to take corrective actions quickly. Historically the original smallholders, especially those provided land under several schemes such as FELDA and FELCRA, tended to their crops on their own or with their immediate family’s assistance.

Any income generated, less inputs, was theirs to keep and this elevated their living standards tremendously. The nation simultaneously witnessed many sons and daughters of these smallholders graduating from local and foreign universities to take up key positions in all walks of our Malaysian life.

As many among the original smallholders have aged and their children are less inclined to tend their land, they have effectively become absentee landlords leasing their lands to others. This also means that income generated is split between parties and less is received by the smallholders themselves.

On top of this productivity losses among smallholders are common. The current nationwide MSPO certification is helping to address some of these challenges and we hope overall income will rise in tandem with global palm oil commodity prices.

Tun Daim has rightly pointed out that the future for palm oil hinges upon creating more food demand, through diversification of applications and new product innovations. Curiously, experts in the oils and fats fraternity tell us that new product innovations with any oil or fat is actually becoming more far and wide but regular inter oil substitutions is highly possible.

The good thing for palm oil is that global supply and demand dynamics are in a very tightly balanced platform. Coupled to this we have an ever growing global population especially in developing countries that demands more oils and fats for food consumption. Palm oil as the most cost effective oil will continue to play a pivotal role and it is hard to imagine a scenario wherein it can be replaced by other oils including coconut for its pricing, functionality and versatility.

We simply need to pay greater attention to our current cultivation and processing practices. For small holders replanting with higher oil yielding varieties is a better choice forward. My Ministry has been encouraging smallholders to practise inter-cropping with other crops that fetch high prices. These could include pineapples, coconuts, vegetables, as well as animal husbandry to diversify their income sources. They won’t be so affected when the palm oil price is low.

Malaysian coconut cultivation has over the years being neglected and it is common for us to drive along coastal roads to see such neglect in rural communities. In agreeing partially with Tun Daim, I would like to propose coconut cultivation in such areas be revitalized using high yielding short dwarf coconut palms.

Lest we forget, I would also draw attention to the fact that the palm oil industry also produces palm kernel oil from the kernel of the oil palm fruit. This for all purposes duplicates the functionality of coconut oil and is highly in demand. Should Malaysia venture into a targeted coconut oil cultivation program, I can assure you that it will also be welcomed by our palm oleochemical industries.

The bottom line to these suggestions is that we can actually make both crops work for our smallholders and economy. It could simply be a question of maximizing our land use patterns and see no reason to aggressively switch away from oil palm cultivation. The demand for the oil is quite assured.

Furthermore my ministry is enforcing new policies such as capping the total oil palm cultivated area to 6.5 million hectares; stop new planting of oil palm in the peatland; ban the conversion of forest reserved areas for oil palm cultivation and open up oil palm plantation maps available for public access. The future or palm oil is through its sustainable production traced throughout its supply chain. I would also be bold to suggest that such sustainability standards would also likely be demanded for coconut oil in the future. I would thus disagree with the quote from Tun Daim but rather say that there are various opportunities and good prospects for both palm and coconut in our country, provided we sustainably manage these supply chains.

 

YB TERESA KOK
MINISTER OF PRIMARY INDUSTRIES
28 NOVEMBER 2019