Wednesday, January 19, 2022

New Malaysian Government Keen To Restore Ties With India, Correct Mahathir’s Mistakes

Malaysia aims to resolve its palm oil spat with India as soon as possible, the country’s new minister of plantation industries and commodities said. Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali added that he wanted to send a delegation to India within a month to get the ties back on track. 

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Earlier, India imposed restrictions on imports of refined palm oil and palmolein from Malaysia as retaliation against Malaysia over its criticism of India’s actions in Kashmir and citizenship law.

Former PM Mahathir Mohamad had stated last year in October that India “invaded and occupied” Kashmir, a Muslim-majority region also claimed by Pakistan. Later, Mohamad said India was stoking unrest with its new citizenship law, which critics say undermines the country’s secular foundations.

Earlier, Elina Noor, a senior Malaysian expert on international affairs said that Malaysian PM Mahathir Mohammad’s hostile comments on Kashmir breached diplomatic boundaries by voicing his thoughts so strongly and publicly.

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Noor further stated – “India’s reaction to PM Mahathir Mohammad’s comments is understandable and anticipated. However, it does not end the apprehensions held by many within and beyond India on the situation in Kashmir even if those concerns have not been expressed as explicitly as Mahathir’s were.”

As EurAsian Times reported earlier, palm oil accounts for nearly two-thirds of India’s total edible oil imports. India buys more than nine million tonnes of palm oil annually, mainly from Indonesia and Malaysia. New Delhi dropped its import remarkably from Malaysia in recent months after attacks on its’s policies by then PM Mahathir Mohamad.

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Malaysia swore in a new Prime Minister, Muhyiddin Yassin, after the resignation of the pro-Pakistan leader Mahathir Mohamad post the power battle in the coalition government. A lawmaker, now the transport minister of Malaysia – Wee Ka Siong, had earlier expressed a keen intent to repair the bilateral ties with India as the stringent ban on palm oil has adversely dented the Malaysian economy.

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