Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak sent a strong message to German lawmakers that there is no “slash and burn” in Malaysia’s palm oil industry.
Malaysia, he said, subscribed to sustainable development and they could come and see it for themselves.
“We are committed to sustainable development and there is no such thing as ‘slash and burn’,” he said in a joint press conference after a bilateral meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin, today.
“The proof of the pudding is in the eating and I have invited a group of MPs to visit Malaysia to see how we are managing the plantation industry,” he said.
He said sustainable development was crucial for Malaysia as about 500,000 smallholders depended on the palm oil industry, and millions of Malaysians had come out of poverty due to the industry.
Malaysia, which is the second largest producer of palm oil in the world, is committed to reducing its carbon dioxide emissions significantly by 40 percent overall by 2020, he said.
Merkel confirmed that the prime minister had invited the German MPs.
“Malaysia has assured us that these policies (slash and burn) are a thing of the past and do not happen anymore, and the MPs were offered to visit Malaysia and see for themselves on the progress that has been made.”
During the press conference, Najib also invited Merkel to visit Malaysia.