Monday, November 2, 2009

MPOC Advert Banned By UK For Being Misleading

Blow to Malaysian palm oil industry as UK bans advert

from Survival International

2 November

Oil palms planted on recently-deforested land, Sarawak
Oil palms planted on recently-deforested land, Sarawak
© M Ross/ Survival

– Penan tribe in Borneo welcomes ban

An advert for Malaysian palm oil has been banned in the UK, dealing a major blow to the credibility of Malaysia’s palm oil industry. Members of the hunter-gatherer Penan tribe in Borneo have welcomed the ban, saying, ‘Oil palm plantations have not benefited us at all; they have only robbed us of our resources and land.’

The Penan live in Sarawak, in the Malaysian part of Borneo, and are fighting to stop the forests they rely on being cut down to make way for oil palm plantations. Survival International is calling on the Malaysian government to halt plantations and logging on their land without their consent.

The UK’s Advertising Standards Agency banned the magazine advert, placed by the Malaysian Palm Oil Council. The advert claimed that Malaysian palm oil was ‘sustainable’ and contributed to ‘the alleviation of poverty, especially amongst rural populations.’

The advertising regulator ruled that these and other claims made in the advert were misleading and could not be substantiated.

Members of the Penan tribe who have already lost much of their land to oil palm plantations said today:

‘Our people welcome the ban on the magazine advert by the Malaysian Palm Oil Council. How come the advert claimed that palm oil helps alleviate poverty, when from the very beginning oil palm plantations have destroyed our source of livelihood and made us much poorer? A lot of people are hungry every day because our forest has been destroyed.’

Oil palm plantations and logging are destroying the forests the Penan hunt and gather in, and polluting the rivers they fish in. Without their forests they have difficulty finding enough food.

Survival’s director Stephen Corry said today, ‘Claims that Malaysian palm oil is green and people-friendly will not wash, especially with the Penan. The industry’s expansion onto their land is a disaster.’

Palm oil is used in many everyday grocery products, and is increasingly being used for biofuel.

Download the banned advert

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Antares said...

Just read that palm oil sales have plunged more than 25% in 2009. I'd like to see the greedy oil palm plantation owners get wiped out by 2010. Maybe the rest of us will no longer have to suffer the annual smog. And logging will grind to a complete halt. Long live the Penan!

ruyom said...

"Racial polarisation in the country is not caused by the country vernacular school system but more by the government political, education and economic discriminative policies." - an educationist said today.

The prime minister and all the Umno ministers will never admit that polarisation arises more out of the race-based policies and privileges one race gets over another.

Similarly, there are other areas of our daily lives where terminologies used have made us view certain practices as privileges rather than sacrifices. For instance, the bumi discount for houses.

The total sale value to the developer is still the same. It is just that the non-malay buyer is likely to be required to pay for some of the discount given to the malays.

But the longer the NEP policies continue and the greater the vehemence with which Umno politicians issue threats, terminologies will change and more people will talk about these practices or policies in words that may not sound as pleasing to the ears of the beneficiaries.

Obviously, at that point we shall probably see a new round of discriminations and disagreements. Unfortunately, as long as only weak people take on leadership roles within Umno, threats will continue, NEP policies will be sustained and corruption will prevail.

That unfortunately is the legacy we have as Malaysians.

The basic building blocks of unity, whether you are uniting different ethnic groups in a country or trying to re-engineer a corporation of differing cultural values, are the same.

The principal parties have to be treated as equals - nor special privileges no favours that would favour one group over another. Any privilege that is given should be given to all on the same basis - for example, special privilege given to the financially poor regardless of race or ethnic origin.

It is only on this equitable footing that you can foster true nationalism and build lasting unity, since each component group will have the same stake in the nation and has equal likelihood in reaping the rewards or suffering the consequences.

My recommendation to the government, not simply as a businessman but also based on pragmatism, is not to waste any more taxpayer ringgit on nationalism programmes until it has established the pre-conditions for its success.

What is sad is that, after almost five decades of independence, we have been unable in Malaysia, to bring globally-vision leaders to the forefront - leaders who can see beyond racial boundaries to recognise the immense sociological and economic potential that can benefit all Malaysians.

jodie said...

Is the language diversity in our educational system a stumbling block to so-called "national unity"? Despite the insistence of this idea by the self-interested ruling elite, it is simply wrong.

And the common use of English did not stop Americans from fighting Britons in the War of Independence. And let us not forget the American Civil War - both sides spoke English.

And to the contrary, we see Europeans of different mother tongues coming together in a democratic manner to forge a united continent in the form of the multilingual European Union with common standards of human rights, governance and democracy.

English-speaking people with different mother tongues are also now living peacefully in five different sovereign and independent countries namely the United States, Canada, Britain, Australia and New Zealand.

It is time for the Malaysia ruling elite and their ideologues to stop spreading the voodoo of that language diversity hampers national unity.

The root cause of national disunity is none other than the existence of race-based political parties like UMNO, MIC and MCA, which perpetuate race-based affirmative action policies and which only benefit the upper class BN gangs and their sons, daughters and cronies.

kok said...

The truth is that the ability of education to bring people together is limited. On top of that, education - at least secular one - is about the pursuit of knowledge and truth, and hence whatever is taught in schools should be based on the reality and truth in order to unite the students.

But when our society is already polarised by the laws and other economic realities, and we tell our children otherwise in school, it is likely that the unity lessons will never stick for long or even worse result in a backlash.

What is more distressing is the fact that national education policy is only meant for the masses while our political leaders send their children overseas. Can we believe they have faith in our own educational facilities and that they are sincere in wanting the best for us?

In Malaysia, unfairness is institutionalised. For example, it is alright for certain schools or universities like the Universiti Institut Teknologi Mara to bar non-malays.

So it piques me to hear some blaming vernacular schools for racial tensions. Vernacular schools have never barred malays from enrolling into them unlike Mara educational institutions. If vernacular schools are to be blamed, so too must the Mara institutions.

(A minister responsible for higher education who can make such inflammatory statements confirms that the so-called meritocracy system of university entrance is a sham, since he was able to promise that the percentage for malay applicants will never fall below the previous quota percentage.

Is he suggesting that we should rejoice over our poor education? Please do not confuse quality with quantity.)

I cannot help but think that the politicians have an ulterior motive. If so, please be honest and brave enough to admit it.

With such narrow-minded people in charge, it is difficult to have confidence in any of their suggestions.

When it came to choosing a career, I avoided public services for the fear of being excluded from promotions just like how I was excluded from matriculation etc. Many employers are also very racially defined.

Now, as much as I miss hanging out with people of other races, I end up being with people of my own race.

Looking back, I don't think our primary vernacular system is the cause of disunity. On the contrary, it enriches our Malaysia heritage. The real problems are with the uneven playing fields that split malays and non-malays from secondary school onwards.

Another examples are the Chinese Indonesians. Most of them don't even speak their mother tongue, nor do they even carry Chinese names anymore, yet come any major political turmoil, they are targeted by the majority. Is this due to vernacular education?

The government should be aware of the fact that the number of Chinese schools has not increased over the past 30 years despite the need for them due to increased demand from both Chinese and non-Chinese students.

The diversity of education methods in the country is a national treasure and should be upheld. Unity will come from mutual respect and fair treatment for all - not necessarily from a uniform education.

Whether they will take concrete steps to address the imbalance is another matter for, while I am optimistic about the people of Malaysia, I have very little faith in politicians.

Proud Sarawakian said...

We are blessed to live in an abundant-resoure state, Sarawak but i can't truly taste the fruit of every Sarawakians labour poured. Well, the reason for it is simply on the way our policy on the land. NCR issue has been a thorn to our goverment and till now, it has not been solved. Long story short, our leaders think we are a lazy bunch who can't manage our own land and they thought they can manage it better. They have the audacity to let vultures take our land and claim it as their own, forced us to work on it without any significant reward to it. And to add insult to injury, our leaders claim there is no problem with the NCR policy when we have to face the music of losing our rights to our lands. With this, i dare say it's no wonder the europeans starts boycotting us.

Anonymous said...

If we want unity, we must first get rid of Mamak Mahatir.
The whole cause of our disunity is him, deceiving that he is a Malay when you know his linkage, name and look never say so!
He uses this Malay sake for his advancement. Others converted but still could not be Malay!
You see how he lies telling you to do one thing and he does something exactly opposite. He is now reputed as the most corrupted PM in our history.
At this old age of 84 he still uses twisted statistics and raffles racial feathers now and again. How to be unity, when you are constantly be reminded of your race?
In Sarawak, sadly many politicians follow his path.
We will not be united until Mamak meets his death and disappears from the scene completely.
When will be the time?

Anonymous said...

Read this:

After reading this article, you will know the truth of the man who taught you to be: ‘Bersih, Cekap dan Amanah’?
In my opinion, 'If you are a tainted leader then forever you are tainted. ………..
UMNO still believes in this man. Why do you want yourself to be misled by such group of man??? Why still support BN???

pua kang kang said...

Sir its really well articulated.

In the same spirit it will be really great if you can champion the issue of semester break holidays in 2010 which the Education Ministry high handedly fixed on the second week of June, thus creating havoc with the plans of people to go back to East Malaysia from peninsular.

I have written to the Star (already published) but we need preasure group in a bigger scale to bombard news protals and MPs so the education ministry will come to their senses.

I truly wish all of us can come together on this.

thank you

Dog1Msia said...

Message to the Malaysian government and their ministers,should they understand EIA as currently the Flora and funa almost gone and die !!!! According to me this is really the big story in climate change. One of the key problems in the escalation of carbon emissions comes from the cutting down the rainforest. If this hold true, cutting down the rainforest to plant oil palm, will allow the release of huge amount of carbon.

In addition, animals native to the rainforest can't live in oil palm plantations, Orangutan,Flora and funa,for example need a completely different forest habitat to survive,as currently we all are facing more and more modern disease, so what is their next plan then?