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Turn Ketum Into A National Agricultural Commodity? MPIC Says Up To MOH

Turn Ketum Into A National Agricultural Commodity? MPIC Says Up To MOH

Akmal Hakim

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It appears that the government remains undecided on whether to fully legalize the cultivation and use of the infamous ketum plant in Malaysia.

The Plantation Industries and Commodities Ministry (MPIC) says Malaysia has no plans to make Mitragyna Speciosa, or more commonly known in these parts as ketum, into one of the nation’s commodities or primary agricultural products.

The ministry said that despite interest in the product, as well as it having both positive and negative connotations to its use here in the country, it was up to the Health Ministry (MOH) to determine Malaysia’s stance on the matter.

(We’ve discussed ketum and the demand for it as an export in a previous article.)

MPIC would instead be focusing its interest in existing Malaysian agricultural commodities such as palm oil, rubber, timber, cocoa, and kenaf, before making leaps into other farming products.

Notably, the previous Barisan Nasional (BN) as well as the Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration had discussed the commercial viability of ketum, a plant that is regulated under the Poisons Act 1952, into becoming a source of income for the nation.

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