Swedish Minister supports Malaysian's palm oil capitalist expanision
The Swedish Trade Minister, Sten Tolgfors, who recently attended the meeting of “Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil” in Malaysia, calls for the EU removal of biofuel import tariffs from Malaysia and Indonesia. What this really mean indirectly, is that this EU Minister is encouraging the continuous expansion of palm oil plantations especially by multinational corporations in both Malaysia and Indonesia, that would include expansion in the brutally colonized West Papua, where the Genocide and Holocaust of Indigenous West Papuans still continues.
What is biofuel by the way?
In Europe, the feedstock for biofuel is produced from grains, in the US...from corn, in South America..from sugar cane and in..Malaysia and Indonesia, from palm oil (see the New Straits Times (Malaysia), Sweden: EU should lift biofuel import tariffs, 16/07/07).
This Minister, speaking in such contradictory language-game, who seems to know much about trade but obviously without a care about our natural environment since this is not in Europe, does not understand that palm oil expansion usually mean a continuous and infinite process from the logging industry, of destroying our tropical rain-forest reserves and ancestral Indigenous land and forest rights, initially enriching multinational corporations multi-billion worth of profit. Then such corporations would continue endlessly towards further multi-billion profit-making industry, that is by constructing plantations on the same logged rainforest area, the biggest plantations being palm oil and followed by Acasia. [That's what Capitalism is fundamentally about – infinite destruction, exploitation and expansion for the sake of maximum power and wealth for the Capitalist class at the cost of extreme suffering and abuses of human and environmental rights of the ordinary class, the natural environment and all its wildlife].
In addition, in a recent propagandist interview on BBC, the Malaysian logging corporations tried to justify their exploitation and destruction by claiming that they are providing modern infrastructure that include roads, clinics, bridges and schools to these traditional Indigenous villages. Which actually should be the responsibility of our Government, not corporations who are holding the villages "at ransom". By the way, Capitalism is a product of Modernity, not the other way around. Which means that we can have those modern infrastructures without having to resort to the destructive system of Capitalism to acquire Modernity. And this is what the traditional Indigenous villagers are trying to point out to our heavily corruputed Malaysian Government; amidst these communities' persistent bravery and intelligence of trying to save their still important heritage and land, our natural environment and all its wildlife. And such great resistance spirit has persistently come over many years from the majority of the Malaysian Penan and Orang Asli traditional communities and the still tragically missing (probably murdered in our rain-forest) Swiss's socio-environmental activist Bruno Manser.
Further, the Minister, in another baffling simplistic and contradictory language-game in the same news report, claimed that such increase in the production of biofuel would also increase the production of ethanol, necessary for EU consumers who want to contribute towards reduction of climate change by purchasing ethanol-blend gasoline for their flexi-fuel cars? So is this Minister saying that, hey, lets be environmentally-conscious consumers in Europe but hey, at the expense of the “Third World” socio-environmental destruction and suffering? Moreover, this Minister is also calling aggressively for liberalisation i.e. free trade (another significant aspect of Capitalism) of trade in industrial goods in the current World Trade Organization (WTO) Doha Development Round negotiation process.
EU socio-environmental conscious consumers, the Green/Socialist Parties and NGOs can help us here in the “Third World” to struggle, no matter how small, against such injustice. Which include writing, calling up and protesting against their EU officials and politicians who are practicing double standard of human rights in the “Third World” (the one example being, EU officials from the EU Commission in Malaysia charged by traditional Indigenous villagers for their complicity with Malaysian's logging and plantation corporations in destroying our tropical forest reserves and their ancestral Indigenous land and forest rights). Also to indict these kind of EU officials, army and politicians in the European Courts of Human Rights or the International Criminal Court in the Hague if found in breach of human and environmental rights in the “Third World”. Only then, humanity can hope to achieve true modernity (not Capitalist modernity) and social justice, and as true human beings as envisioned enlighteningly by Hegel and Marx.