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AFP: Malaysia To Swap Palmoil For Railways

4/5/2001 8:18 pm Fri

[Kerajaan berhasrat untuk melakukan perniagaan 'tukar benda' atau 'barter trade' dengan negara China dan India. Minyak kelapa sawit menjadi tukaran dengan kontrek jalan atau rel keretapi. Ini adalah antara langkah untuk menghidupkan ekspot yang penting ini yang sudah tergugat.

India membeli RM 1.2 bilion minyak kelapa sawit tahun lepas manakala China kurang dari RM 1 bilion. Malaysia adalah negara pengeluar minyak kelapa sawit terbesar dunia tetapi ekspot itu tergugat bila harganya menjunam dari RM2,377 se-tan pada 1998 kepada RM800 sekarang.

Selalunya negara yang menghadapi masalah kewangan sahaja merencanakan sistem barter trade ini. Melalui rancangan ini nampak jelas kita sudah tidak berduit lagi.

Satu lagi cara untuk mengatasi masalah stokpail minyak kelapa sawit yang berlebihan adalah dengan mendesak stesen janakuasa letrik tempatan menggunakan minyak kelapa sawit sebagai bahan api. Tetapi lapuran BT mendedahkan rancangan itu tidak munasabah kerana lebih 80% janakuasa dalam negara di pacu oleh kuasa gas - bukan minyak. Hanya janakuasa lama yang masih menggunakan minyak.

Nampak benar kedunguan Lim Keng Yaik.... - Editor] afp/article.html?s=asia/headlines/010502/business/afp/ Malaysia_nears_deal_with_China__India_to_ swap_palmoil_for_railways.html

Wednesday, May 2 2:46 PM SGT

Malaysia nears deal with China, India to swap palmoil for railways


Malaysia is near agreement with India and China on a multi-billion-dollar deal to swap palmoil for railway contracts, a minister was Wednesday quoted as saying.

Primary Industries Minister Lim Keng Yaik, quoted by Business Times, said he expects the deal with India to be finalised during Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee's visit here from May 13.

Lim, who visited the two countries last week, also said letters of intent to swap an initial 200,000 tonnes of palmoil for 20 locomotives have been submitted to China.

Lim said each deal could be worth three billion ringgit (789.5 million dollars) or four billion or more.

"China is certainly in a position to take up the offer," he was quoted as saying.

"Talks are in the final stages between the government and a Chinese company with regards to specifications and prices for the supply of 20 diesel locomotives."

The newspaper quoted sources as saying that each proposed barter deal was worth six billion ringgit, with Malaysia to pay in palmoil over a period of more than five years.

The sources said China would build a double-track railway between the southern states of Negri Sembilan and Johor, which would form part of a trans-Asia rail network linking Singapore to Kunming.

The Indian Railway International (Ircon) is expected to handle the rail network linking peninsular Malaysia's east and west coasts, sources said.

India bought 1.2 billion ringgit worth of palmoil last year and China less than one billion.

Malaysia, the world's largest palmoil producer, has watched with dismay as the price plunged from a high of 2,377 ringgit a tonne in 1998 to around 800 ringgit now.

It has initiated other measures to prop up prices.

This includes urging power stations to burn crude palmoil as fuel to cut stockpiles and allocating 350 million ringgit for replanting to temporarily cut production.

The Business Times said Wednesday that plans to use crude oil as fuel have hit a snag as nearly 80 percent of the country's generators are powered by gas.

Only older plants which burn medium fuel oil can be mixed with palmoil.

But Lim was quoted as saying that this was only a "minor setback" and the project would continue.

Sources said the government is targetting older generators in the Sabah and Sarawak states on Borneo island to kickstart the project.