Reveal palm oil AP holders, says PKR

PKR claims that at least half of the AP holders are not genuine palm oil players and the government is losing about RM4 billion in tax revenue due to the APs. 

G Vinod, FMT

Reveal the names of companies benefiting from the palm oil approved permits (AP), said PKR’s chairman of investment and trade bureau Wong Chen.

Speaking at the press conference held at the party headquarters today, Wong claimed that palm oil industry players were surprised when told that the names were protected under the Official Secrets Act (OSA).

“In a palm oil forum held a few days back, a prominent palm oil analyst asked for the names of the AP holders but one of the panellists dismissed him saying the list is under the OSA,” he said.

However, he said that the panellist was not a government official.

The government introduced the palm oil AP system in 2000 to selected companies due to declining crude palm oil (CPO) prices and stock surpluses.

It was also introduced to help local companies who wanted to send CPO to their refineries established in foreign countries.

Under the system, the AP holders would not be imposed the 23% duty fee which was usually imposed on palm oil players who bypassed local refineries.

In August, The Star quoted an industry source saying that palm oil refiners wanted transparency in the allocation and distribution of the quota to the beneficiaries dubbed “kings of palm oil APs”.

The source was also quoted as saying that industry players believed that at least half of the 50 companies enjoying the APs were not genuine palm oil industry players

On the AP system, Wong said the government was losing about RM4 billion in tax revenue for this year alone due to the system introduced over a decade ago.

“The government allows AP for 5.6 million metric tonne of CPO. Maybank estimated the average price per metric tonne for CPO this year at RM3,150.

“So when you times those numbers with 23% tax rebate the companies are enjoying, we are losing RM4.0572 this year in tax revenue,” he added.

The PKR leader urged the government to relook the system, saying continuing such a policy would tantamount to nothing short but a fiscal irresponsibility.

“By just giving the APs to genuine palm oil players, we can at least save about RM2 billion. That sum is half of what Pakatan Rakyat needs to provide free education to all Malaysians,” he said.