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‘Probe malicious viral messages of durians turned back from China’

 | November 19, 2017

Durian festival organisers in China say motive for messages must be investigated to protect market.

durian2PETALING JAYA: China has yet to allow Malaysia to import whole durians into the country, it was clarified today.

China, however, gave special permission for the import of 3.8 tonnes of durians, with their shells, for use during the Malaysian Durian Festival 2017 held in Nanning from Nov 3-5.

This was stated in a statement issued by Robin Wong, the durian festival’s special coordinator, and festival organiser Dominic Su.

In a statement, they said it was therefore untrue that 20 containers of Musang King durians sent to China were rejected and sent back to Malaysia due to alleged high insecticide content.

They said such messages, spread through social media, were totally “unjustifiable, unsupported, unwarranted and inaccurate”.

“We don’t know the intention of this unwarranted claim.

“But as the organisers of the durian festival, we feel compelled to clarify what we know to stop the further spread of these unjustifiable false claims.

“These may negatively affect the proper marketing of our quality agriculture produce, including durians.

“We should all be responsible for stopping any efforts to negatively affect the good progress that the durian festival has brought.

“We believe that the festival is a stepping stone towards helping to increase our agricultural exports to China, which is beneficial to our economy and country.”

Both of them urged the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to look into this issue and take the necessary action in identifying the irresponsible culprits behind spreading this unwarranted claim.

They said Malaysia was at a preliminary stage of seeking to reach a mutually agreed protocol with China for the export of Malaysian whole durians.

Malaysia is only allowed to export processed frozen durians to China at present.

Lately there has been great interest from Chinese buyers for local durians. Many Chinese are believed to have invested in durian farms in Malaysia to fulfil the demand in China.

It was reported that Singapore durian sellers were expecting a bumper crop this season, which should be enough to satisfy demand in Malaysia, Singapore and China.

In July, the Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority (Fama) said the export of durians to China was set to increase following high demand for the fruit.

Fama director-general Ahmad Ishak said last month that the export of Musang King durians last year had surged to RM60 million compared with RM33 million in the previous year.

He added that Fama was targeting RM70 million in durian exports to China.

“We expect exports to China to increase 10% by the end of this year,” he said.

One Musang King durian sells for about RM800 in Hong Kong while one kilogramme of the fruit can fetch RM200 in China.

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