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Stop Kulim (Malaysia) Behard increase in shareholding in NBPOL : Baki

A leader and an oil palm grower in the Talasea area of West New Britain province is calling on the government to oppose suggestions by Kulim (Malaysia) Behard to increase its shareholding in the New Britain Palm Oil Limited - N-B-P-OL.

Gari Baki, says if Kulim (Malaysia) Behard increases its shareholding in N-B-P-OL, the company will become a foreign owned company and would monopolise the oil palm industry in the country.

He said the government must be wary of this and not allow Kulim Behard to increase its shareholding.

Mr Baki also said such information must also trickle down to the local growers who also play a substantial part in the industry.

N-B-P-OL has oil palm plantations in West New Britain, Northern, Milne Bay and New Ireland provinces.

And Mr Baki says most of them are not aware of Kulim Behard's intention and may want to know what will happen if this arrangement takes place.

"A lot of information has to be filtered down to our people, particularly West New Britain, Milne Bay, Oro, Morobe Province, and in New Ireland as well. This is where NBPOL leads. People do not know about all these things. Even though we may be ignorant about it, but those of us who read newspapers and follow this, it's important that the whole majority of the oil palm growers in Papua New Guinea know exactly what's happening to the plant that they grow and sell to earn their living out of."

The Security Commission of PNG last month took out a restraining order stopping Kulim (Malaysia) Behard from increasing its shareholding.

Kulim Behard currently has a shareholding of 48 point 9-7 percent in the N-B-P-OL, but in June 2013 it announced that it wants to increase this shareholding by 20 percent to 68 point 9 percent.

Meantime, Trade, Commerce and Industry Minister, Richard Maru will be announcing the government's position today.

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