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Mahathir’s Kashmir comments: Indian companies plan to stop buying M’sian goods

Mahathir’s Kashmir comments: Indian companies plan to stop buying M’sian goods

Tasneem Nazari

So, remember when our Prime Minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed spoke about the need to resolve the Jammu and Kashmir conflict during his speech at the 74th United Nations General Assembly in New York in September?

The speech DID NOT sit well with the people of India.

And soon #BoycottMalaysia started trending online with Indians calling for each other to boycott all things Malaysian, including travelling to Malaysia and low-cost carrier, AirAsia.

And we were all like “pfft, they’re not REALLY gonna boycott us”.

MAN WERE WE WRONG.

Turns out since then, India’s oil-seed companies have been told to stop buying palm oil from us.

Atul Chaturvedi, president of the Solvent Extractors’ Association of India (SEAI) was quoted saying that the Indian government “has not taken kindly” to Dr Mahathir’s comments.

He also advised Indian vegetable companies to avoid purchasing from Malaysia from the time being to show their solidarity with their nation.

Meanwhile, the SEAI executive director, B. V. Mehta said that they have alternatives to “Malaysian supplies” that Indian refiners “can easily tap”.

Some refiners have reportedly already stopped palm oil shipments from Malaysia for November and December (though some reports say that it’s typical for India’s palm oil consumption to fall in the winter since oil solidifies easily in cold temperatures).

Picture credit: Twitter

If you think India boycotting our palm oil exports isn’t a huge thing, we’ve got some numbers for you.

India has a RM38.711 trillion strong economy, which is currently the third-largest in purchasing power parity terms, and a 7.3% GDP growth rate, the fastest among the G20 nations.

Picture credit: Google

Between 2005 and 2012, India’s middle-class has almost doubled from 304 million people to 604 million people, which has, in turn, sparked a huge demand for fast-moving consumer goods (FMCGs).

Given that palm oil is a key input in most FMCGs, India has become the world’s largest palm oil consumer and importer.

In fact, Malaysia exported 6.84 billion ringgit worth of palm oil and palm-based products to India in 2018.

Picture credit: Science Mag and Imgflip

All this, topped off with the fact that European countries have made stricter policies on accepting our palm oil exports and the continuous bad name the palm oil industry gets, means that our palm oil industry is taking a really big hit.

Yet, despite these reports, Dr Mahathir appears to be unfazed, insisting that he will not retract or change his comments on the Kashmir conflict.

Do you think India is really boycotting us? And will their boycott heavily affect our economy? Share your thought with us on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

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