BANTING: Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said Malaysia may buy planes from China and other countries if the European Union (EU) tries to “impoverish” the nation by banning Malaysian palm oil.
He said Malaysia did not need sophisticated jets as “we are not a war-like people and we only need Cessna planes”.
“If they (EU) keep on taking action against us through our palm oil products and try to impoverish us, we will have to think of buying airplanes from China or others.
“Chinese technology may be even more advanced than that of Europe,” he said after launching the “Love My Palm Oil” programme here today.
Mahathir, who just returned from a three-day official visit to Pakistan, said he witnessed planes produced by Pakistan, China and Turkey performing aerobatic stunts during the country’s National Day parade.
“They were flying 10ft from one another and yet they went through all kinds of manoeuvres without breaking formation,” he said, adding that he was impressed with the air show.
Mahathir noted that the EU had made a decision to phase out the use of palm oil in biofuels among member countries.
He also said the community planned to draft a law classifying palm oil as “high-risk” feedstock for greenhouse gas emissions.
However, he said Malaysia would not stop buying EU products.
“We will reduce buying their products. Maybe we won’t buy certain products but we cannot go to ’war’ with them,” he said.
Earlier, during the launch of the “Love My Palm Oil” programme, Mahathir said the anti-palm oil movement against Malaysia and other palm oil producers was baseless.
“Our palm oil is cheap and, of course, they will lose if they compete with us in using palm oil for biofuel.
“They use the reason that oil palm plantations destroy the habitat of animals but what they actually want is to protect their own market in producing soy-based products for biofuel,” he said.
He added that the EU did not care about the livelihood of 600,000 people working in the palm oil industry.