Bengaluru: Unable to sustain the massive import curbs India has imposed on Malaysia in relation to palm oil, the new government in Malaysia has vowed to repair and rectify its relations with India, obviously with a view to revive its sagging economy. 

The move comes in the wake of former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad resigning suddenly. 

Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali, the new minister of plantation industries and commodities, said, "One of the first moves for the new government is to rebuild the relationship with India, especially for the palm oil issue," as quoted by a popular website. 

The relations between the two countries hit the nadir after Mahathir Mohamad made some really objectionable and needless remarks about India’s internal affairs like the Citizenship Amendment Act and the abrogation of the articles 370 and 35A. 

In relation to the enactment of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), he is reported to have said, “I am sorry to see that India, which claims to be a secular state, now is taking action to deprive some Muslims of their citizenship. If we do that here, I do not know what will happen. There will be chaos and instability, and everybody will suffer."

Even a cursory glance at what the Malaysian Prime Minister had reportedly said would exhibit his ignorance about the issue. As reiterated by the Indian government, the CAA is not to persecute or alienate any of the Indian citizens, including Muslims, but to grant citizenship to around 32000 Hindu migrants from Pakistan.

India rightfully lodged a protest against the remarks saying that they were “insensitive” and the former PM was “ill-informed”.

What gives fillip to India’s move is the step taken by Penang deputy chief minister P Ramasamy.

He said, “Just as he got it wrong on the Kashmir matter by saying that India invaded and occupied the Muslim dominated province, he is wrong on the matter of the amendment to the citizenship law,” as had been quoted by Free Malaysia Today.

In fact, earlier, taking umbrage at his comments on the abrogation of articles 370 and 35A, Indian businessmen had decided to replace Malaysian palm oil imports by buying more oil from Indonesia and increasing edible oil supplies from Ukraine. Incidentally, it’s the first time that India was using its heft as a trade partner to express unhappiness over a political statement.