Come to Sabah, Aussie MPs urged

Posted on July 15, 2011. Filed under: Environmental Economics, Forestry/Wetlands |

-The Star-

KOTA KINABALU: Australian lawmakers should see for themselves the wildlife and forest conservation efforts in Malaysia, said Sime Darby chairman Tun Musa Hitam.

Referring to moves by green groups to push for labelling of palm oil as they claimed that orang utan were being driven out from large forests cleared for oil palm plantations in Malaysia, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, Musa said:

“They may not want to believe us if we say it, but it is best for them to come and see for themselves.”

Green guide: (From left) Pairin, Musa and Sabah Forestry Department director Datuk Sam Mannan during the book launch in Kota Kinabalu Thursday.

Sime Darby is one of the world’s largest listed palm oil producers.

Musa was speaking at the launch of the book Forever Green: A Sustainable Future With Deramakot by Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan here yesterday.

Located in Sabah, Deramakot is the first natural tropical rainforest in South-East Asia managed in accordance with sustainable forestry principles.

Green groups, mainly those in Australia, want law for clear labelling of palm oil rather than it being listed as a generic vegetable oil.

Musa said corporate citizens in Malaysia shared equal concerns about conservation but felt that criticisms against any country should be responsible as it would have implications on the country’s economy and the livelihood of its people.

The proposed move to name only palm oil for labelling and avoiding other edible oils could be seen as discriminatory, he said.

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