Malaysia’s prime minister on Tuesday expressed concern about a decision by India to restrict palm oil imports from the Southeast Asian country.
Mahathir Mohamad told reporters in Kuala Lumpur that Malaysia was concerned of India’s decision to halt imports of Malaysia palm oil, according to the daily Malay Mail.
“We’re concerned of course, because we sell a lot of palm oil to India. But on the other hand, we need to be frank and say when something goes wrong,” Mahathir added.
India last week restricted the import of palm oil from Malaysia in retaliation to criticism by Kuala Lumpur against New Delhi on Kashmir and the country’s new citizenship law.
Mahathir said: “If we allow things to go wrong and think only about the money, then a lot of things will go wrong.”
India was among the top three buyers of Malaysian palm oil and palm-based products in 2018. Malaysia exported 6.84 billion ringgits ($1.65 billion) worth of palm oil to India.
“That’s something that we have to find a solution for, but the fact is what’s happening in India today is causing a lot of unhappiness among the people there, and the whole world feels that it’s wrong to discriminate,” Mahathir told reporters.
During his UN speech in September last year, Mahathir said India “invaded and occupied” Jammu and Kashmir, and later refused to budge from his demand that the UN intervene to solve the dispute.