KUALA LUMPUR: Teresa Kok has denied informing the media that Malaysia will back off from its plans to file the WTO complaint against the European Union (EU) and its Delegated Regulation.
Referring to a news report by Reuters today, the Primary Industries Minister said on the contrary, Malaysia has not retracted its option to file the WTO complaint.
"We continue to view the Delegated Regulation as a discredit to the Malaysian palm oil industry's commitment towards mandatory sustainability since it creates additional trade barriers and impedes our sustainability efforts throughout our palm oil supply chain," the minister said in a statement today.
She added that the ministry's highest level legal team was examining Malaysia's potential response to make the petition as watertight as possible.
"We have thus always agreed to intervene as a co-complainant and join the likes of Indonesia and other palm oil producers at the opportune juncture at the WTO proceedings," she said.
Kok claimed that the Reuters news report had "deliberately misquoted" her that Malaysia no longer planned to file the WTO suit against EU restrictions on palm oil.
"This was also not the thrust of my intention when the Reuters journalist interviewed me in Brussels yesterday.
"In my interview I had emphasized clearly that my current mission to meet with European leaders was to explain the efforts made by the Malaysian government and palm oil industry to produce sustainable palm oil, and various green conservation projects initiated by the industry.
"I sought the endorsement of EU leaders on Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certification and to accept MSPO certified palm oil into Europe. This is in line with the announcement of seven EU countries in the Amsterdam Declaration on Fully Sustainable Palm Oil by 2020."
In the Reuters report today, Kok was quoted as saying, “We did have this intention, but we thought that before we come to Europe... we shouldn’t file the suit hastily."