Dr M: China-Malaysia ties? They’ve ordered another 500,000 tonnes of palm oil from us

Azril Annuar
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (right) is seen at the second meeting of the first session of the 14th Parliament in Kuala Lumpur October 15, 2018. ― Picture by Azneal Ishak

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 15 ― China will be importing another 500,000 tonnes of palm oil from Malaysia, said Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in Parliament during the question and answer session today.

Dr Mahathir was replying to a question posed by Ayer Hitam MP Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong (MCA) who voiced his concerns on the China-Malaysia ties after the deferment and cancellation of multiple mega-projects with China-based companies.

“We have come to an agreement with China who wanted to increase their palm oil import by another 500,000 tonnes ― at a reasonable price,” he said.

Wee also wanted to know what Malaysia would do with the drop in Chinese tourists and the negative image Malaysia had receive on Chinese social media.

Touching on the drop in Chinese tourists visiting Malaysia, Dr Mahathir said the fluctuation is normal as there are times that tourists would prefer to visit other locations instead of just heading to Malaysia.

However, he acknowledge that Malaysia will also reduce the visa fee and improve on visa application services for Chinese tourists with intentions on visiting the nation.

Later Dr Mahathir also replied to Ketereh MP Tan Sri Annuar Musa (Umno) who wanted to know Malaysia's stance regarding the US-China trade war ― whether or not the nation will have closer ties to China or America.

He gave his assurances that the US-China trade war will not have much negative impact on Malaysia but it might even have a small positive effect.

“Malaysia and the Pakatan Harapan government has a non-interference policy on any type of war. We will not interfere or step into (this trade war) even though it might have some impact to us.

“For the time being there are no adverse impact on Malaysia. If there is any impact, we hope it will be the transfer of investments from the United States or China to Malaysia. So there is a possibility that we might get some positive impact from the US-China trade war,” he said.

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