Home South East Asia Malaysia Lawmaker urges authorities to revisit 'unreasonable' FGV palm oil import ban

Lawmaker urges US authorities to revisit ‘unreasonable’ FGV palm oil import ban

Seputeh MP Teresa Kok FGV should not be penalised for a five-year-old complaint




KUALA LUMPUR, Oct. 6 — Seputeh MP Teresa Kok has urged US authorities to reassess the import ban issued against oil and oil products from FGV Holdings Bhd by dispatching a special team to .

In a statement today, Kok, was the primary industries minister in the administration, described the withhold release order (WRO) issued earlier this month by the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) against FGV as “most unreasonable”.

She said that FGV should not be penalised for a five-year-old complaint, adding “the incident concerned happened in 2015 based on a complaint by an NGO against one of its contractors”.

“The question Malaysians wish to ask is, did the US CBP evaluate FGV’s current practices when issued the ban, or has wilfully acted on an old complaint by NGOs, five years ago? If is the latter, then will be most unfair and unconscionable of the US CBP to have acted in this rash manner,” said Kok.

She also said that FGV has taken steps to address the issues raised in the complaints made against them, and called on the US CBP to send a team to Malaysia to familiarise themselves with the company’s current labour practices.

“It has since, duly implemented and continues to vigorously observe best labour practices, in accordance with standards,” said Kok.

On October 1, Bloomberg reported Customs and Border Protection had decided to block imports of and products from FGV Holdings Bhd on the grounds that a year-long “reasonably indicates” the use of forced labour.

Shipments from the company and its subsidiaries will be held back at all ports of entry to the US effective October 7.

Malaysia is the second-biggest shipper of palm oil to the US.

As recently as September 26, FGV had issued a statement to say it is fully committed to respecting and upholding labour standards.

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