Media Statement by Member of Parliament for Seputeh, Teresa Kok on 24 July 2020
Is the slogan “Sawit Anugerah Tuhan (Palm Oil is God’s Gift)” for Malaysians or foreigners? Campaign slogans for Malaysian products should not be changed just because there is a change of government or minister
I am relieved that the Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities, YB Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali has announced that he will be continuing with the public awareness campaign on Malaysian-produced palm products which started during my tenure as the Minister of Primary Industries. Unfortunately however, he changed the slogan of the campaign from “Sayangi SawitKu (Love MY Palm Oil)” to “Sawit Anugerah Tuhan (Palm Oil is God’s Gift)”.
Palm is indeed a gift from God, but when I launched the “Love My Palm Oil” campaign, I was not just targeting citizens, but I also ran a campaign ‘from Malaysia, we speak to the world’, targeting foreigners and the international community.
That’s why we crafted the slogan in english, “Love MY Palm Oil”, with “MY” meaning “Malaysia”. This slogan in English ultimately “killed two birds with one stone”
Palm oil and palm products are the nation’s third largest export. The challenge faced by the Malaysian palm industry is the negative perception the world has on palm. The industry and government did not have the funds to publicise and explain palm oil to the world. So we launched the “Love MY Palm Oil” campaign to explain our palm oil from Malaysia to the world.
If there wasn’t a change of government from PH to PN back in February this year, Malaysian Palm Oil Counicl (MPOC) alongside myself have planned to tour the nation for the “Sayangi Sawitku” campaign in conjunction with the “Visit Malaysia 2020” programme by the Tourism Ministry, so that foreign tourists who visit Malaysia can be exposed to the benefits of Malaysian palm.
My question to the Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities is whether the “Sawit Anugerah Tuhan” slogan is targeting Malaysian citizens or foreigners? If it is targeting the international community, then the palm oil slogan should remain “Love My Palm Oil” or “Sayangi Sawitku”.
It should not be changed just because of the change in government or minister in order to continue the message to the international community.
Member of Parliament for Seputeh,
Former Minister of Primary Industries.