The Prime Minister of Malaysia Mahathir Mohamad said on October 16 that the country will work diplomatically with India if it puts a restriction on Malaysian palm oil imports, reported foreign news agency. India was reportedly planning to put a restraint on imports of certain Malaysian goods which included palm oil. The Southeast Asian country had earlier slammed India at the United Nations for its activities in Kashmir. Malaysia is the second-largest producer and exporter of palm oil in the world after Indonesia and India is the largest importer of edible oils.
The Malaysian PM said that if the Indian government decides to boycott their products then they will work together to handle the situation diplomatically or reduce the kind of action taken against them. The third-largest market of Malaysia for oil is the Indian peninsular. A lot of traders in India claimed that refiners have stopped purchasing palm oil from Malaysia for shipment in the month of November and December. The reason for the action was a fear of high import tax or any other measure that could have been taken. Malaysian PM said that even though there was a stoppage by the traders, the country is yet to get any official announcement from the government of India about the restrictions that are likely. Mahathir said that the reaction coming from India presently is from the business groups and the country cannot react to any of their personal resolutions.
The country on October 15 declared that it is planning to increase the imports of raw sugar and buffalo meat from India as an attempt to end trade tensions. Earlier reports stated that India had plans of reducing Malaysian imports as a reaction to their PM Mahathir's comments at the United Nations General Assembly in the month of September. His remarks on Kashmir triggered social media outrage where internet users called on to boycott Malaysia. Last week the Ministry of External Affairs, India responded to the statement by Mahathir on Kashmir and maintained that developments in that area are an internal matter of the country.
(With inputs from agencies)