Pakistan has managed to get Kuala Lumpur on its side and dent India-Malaysia ties. Malaysian PM Minister Mahathir Mohamad had earlier attacked India at the United Nations stating that India had invaded and occupied Kashmir which raised tempers in New Delhi.
Reuters reported last week that India was considering curbing imports of some Malaysian products, including palm oil in response to Malaysian PM’s uncalled remarks against once key ally – India.
Malaysia is the world’s second-largest producer and exporter of palm oil after Indonesia, and India is Malaysia’s third-largest market for the oil.
In response to speculations, Mahathir Mohamad said that Malaysia will work diplomatically with India if it decides to restrict imports of Malaysian palm oil, according to the state news agency Bernama.
“If the (Indian) government launched a boycott or something like that, then we will have to work diplomatically or reduce the kind of action that they have taken,” Mahathir was quoted as saying by Bernama.
Malaysia is yet to receive any official statement from the Indian government on the possible restrictions, Mahathir said. “This is the reaction from the business community. Hence, we cannot react to their personal decisions,” he said, according to Bernama.
Malaysia on Tuesday said it would consider increasing imports of raw sugar and buffalo meat from India, as it looked to quell trade tensions.
Outrage in India
What followed post the comments of Malaysian Prime Minister was a social media outrage by Indians asking the authorities to suspend bilateral trade and tourism with Malaysia. The comments of the Malaysian PM are reminiscent of the anti-India stand portrayed China and Turkey at the UNGA.
On the issue of Kashmir, Turkey and China extended support to Islamabad while Pakistan PM lambasted the Indian government over the humanitarian crisis in Jammu and Kashmir.
Mahathir Mohamad stated that India invaded Jammu and Kashmir despite UN resolutions on Kashmir. Moreover, he went on to say that such ignorance of the UN will lead to other types of disregard for the UN and the rule of law.
Mohamad reiterated that the issues between India and Pakistan must be resolved by peaceful means and the decision taken by India unilaterally is wrong even if there were some reasons to support the decisions.