“MPIC can be a money-spinner with the right leadership”

APART from feeling grateful to the 4,589 Ampang electorate who supported our newly-formed Parti Bangsa Malaysia (PBM) which recently made inroads into the Malaysian political scene, I will always cherish the trust given to me to head the Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities (MPIC) for a14-month period between August 2021 and October 2022.

I don’t wish to delve on my past track record as the former plantation industries and commodities minister except wanting to emphasise to whoever my successor at MPIC is that the ministry has so much potential to be a” self-sustainable” or “money generating ministry”.

What is needed to realise that goal is to accord proper attention on spurring market expansion, product/service marketability, research & development (R&D) and application of innovation and technology.

Zooming into two core commodities which are palm oil and rubber as key examples, MPIC could in the future push for a consolidation of oil palm plantations/rubber estates under one roof to foster an effective and sustainable management.

Zuraida Kamaruddin


I am also pleased to share that MPIC’s “Global Movement to Champion the Goodness of Palm Oil” campaign has been very fruitful as an international platform to spark awareness about the high quality of Malaysian palm oil as well as to counter the various misinformation and false information levelled at our golden oil.

In view of the still pricey retail price of cooking oil on supermarket shelves today, I wish to propose the streamlining of the cooking oil subsidy programme under one single agency – ie under MPIC for better distribution and price control as opposed to the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry (KPDNHEP).

This will prevent overlapping and confusion as to which authority should have the final say pertaining to the pricing or price control mechanism of cooking oil. What more since KPDNHEP is over-burdened with consumer affair matters across all products and services.

Last but not least, I would highly encourage the future Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister to look into what I would describe as the threshold on qualifying commodity products.

The reason why I moot this idea is simply because the expansion into various profitable commodities such as pineapples, coconuts and durians – all of which boast export potential if properly managed – justify MPIC’s role as an income generating commodity ministry.

This is apart from its key focus of boosting major commodity crops such as palm oil rubber, timber, cocoa, pepper and fibre.

Perhaps it is time the Rural and Regional Development Ministry to focus on community-related matters per se and leave it to the MPIC to manage all commodities. – Nov 27, 2022


Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin is the former plantation industries and commodities minister.

The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.


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