The Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) and the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) will sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Tsinghua University, China, for research on palm oil as biofuel.
MPI Minister Teresa Kok said with the MoU in place, China will be increasing its palm oil imports from Malaysia.
“We hope for a positive outcome from this (MoU),” she said on the side lines of a cooking demonstration in conjunction with the “Love My Palm Oil” campaign at a shopping centre here.
Additionally, Kok said her ministry has been in talks with store owners to showcase and sell more red palm oil, following an increase in demand for the product.
“Since the campaign started, when Prime Minister (Tun Mahathir Mohamad) said that a spoonful of red palm oil is good for our health, many have asked where to get it. Unfortunately, it cannot be found in many grocery stores.
“I have talked to them (the store owners) to promote red palm oil and at the same time, promote the Love My Palm Oil campaign,” she said.
Red palm oil is the highest grade of palm oil as it is high in antioxidants such as beta-carotene and lycopene, as well as tocotrienols, a form of vitamin E.
Kok said that it is imperative for Malaysians to understand the benefits of palm oil and love it first, before foreigners, especially the Europeans, can understand its importance.
She added that Malaysia has been facing a backlash from Europe on palm oil and it has been a challenge to change the mind set there.
“Palm oil is the third major economic contributor to Malaysia and it is rich with benefits that many do not know,” Kok said.