Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today he will not retract his criticism of New Delhi’s actions in disputed Kashmir, despite Indian traders calling for an unprecedented boycott of Malaysian palm oil. -- NSTP Archive

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will continue to speak out on Jammu and Kashmir to ensure all parties abide by the United Nations (UN) resolution to resolve its conflict, said Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

The Prime Minister said he would not retract his statement made on the matter at the 74th UN General Assembly in New York last month.

“We will speak our minds. We will not retract or change what we’ve said.

“We felt that the people of Kashmir had benefited from the UN resolution, and all countries should abide by it, not just India or Pakistan but even the United States.

“Otherwise, what’s the use of having the UN?” Dr Mahathir said this to reporters at the Parliament lobby today.

The Prime Minister had spoken at the UN General Assembly about the need to resolve the Jammu and Kashmir conflict, urging for the problems to be solved peacefully.

He said: "Now, despite UN (United Nations) resolution on Jammu and Kashmir, the country has been invaded and occupied. There may be reasons for this action but it is still wrong. The problem must be solved by peaceful means. India should work with Pakistan to resolve this problem. Ignoring the UN would lead to other forms of disregard for the UN and the Rule of Law.”

His remarks however caused backlash, and started a #BoycottMalaysia campaign on social media.

On Monday, India’s top vegetable oil trade body Solvent Extractors' Association of India (SEAI) had asked its members to stop buying palm oil from Malaysia, as a ”punishment” for criticising India over its policy toward Kashmir.

Following this, Dr Mahathir said the government would study the impact of the boycott on palm oil shipments.

“We’ll study the effect of their boycott but the Indian government has not said anything. So we’ll see what their government policy is going to be like.”

Dr Mahathir had stressed that Malaysia was a trading nation and needed to be nice to people, but also stressed that it was important to speak up.

“Sometimes what we say is liked by some and disliked by others,” he said, adding that he would not be reporting India to the World Trade Organisation yet.