Smallholders account for 26%, or around 1.5 million hectares of oil palm planted area in Malaysia, the world's second-largest palm oil producer.
European leaders want to reduce deforestation by curbing the use of palm oil in the automotive sector. But the South East Asian nations say the restrictions are discriminatory.
A European proposal to tackle deforestation can end up hurting a key source of revenue for these Southeast Asian countries.
Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim met with Indonesian President Widodo where both leaders discussed border issues with Myanmar, trade and migrant worker rights.
The ban is aimed at addressing the soaring palm oil prices within the country, exacerbating the global food shortages
The ban on Sime Darby is another blow to an industry that has faced mounting allegations of labour and human rights abuses.
Below are harrowing accounts of brutality told by women who are among the millions toiling away on vast plantations across Indonesia and Malaysia, producing oil that ends up in supply chains of big names like L’Oreal, Unilever and Procter & Gamble.
EU had earlier imposed duties on biodiesel imports from Indonesia saying it was needed to level the playing field for its producers. Neighbouring Malaysia, the world's second-biggest palm oil producer, has also threatened WTO action against the EU.
At the UNGA in September, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said India "invaded and occupied" the disputed region. His comments lead to Indian traders calling for a boycott of Malaysian palm oil.
The recent sentencing of separatists is likely to fuel more anger and resentment among the Anglophone population and alienate them from the Francophone-dominated government, but the dialogue can reverse hard feelings.
EU lobbies are protecting unsustainable industries at the expense of free trade and poverty alleviation.
Are Nestle, Unilever and others going the "Big Brother" route by using satellites to track tree felling in certain countries?
Subscribe to our Youtube channel for all latest in-depth, on the ground reporting from around the world.
Copyright © 2023 TRT World.