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Malaysia Agriculture and Fishing Overview
Agriculture and fishing
The importance of agriculture to Malaysia's economy has decreased since the 1980s. At that time, the sector (including forestry and fishing) accounted for one fifth of the country's GDP. Today, the agricultural sector makes up less than a tenth of GDP and employs just over a tenth of its employees.
Almost a quarter of Malaysia's land area is cultivated. Plantations with oil palm trees are common; the country is one of the world's largest producers of palm oil. The expansion of the oil palm plantations has largely been at the expense of rubber trees, but also a lot of forests - especially in Western Malaysia - have been shuffled to make room for the oil palm trees.
The area of oil palm has increased in line with the demand for biofuel (produced by the oil palm) for environmentally friendly cars in, among others, Europe. Nowadays, the investment in palm oil for fuel by environmental organizations around the world is being criticized when the environmental gain is questioned.
Until 1991 Malaysia was the world's largest producer of natural rubber. In the state of Sarawak, new rubber plantations have mostly been built on what used to be wetlands, including mangrove swamps that are valuable to the environment.
Rice is the staple crop in the Malaysian traditional agriculture, and rice cultivation is subsidized by the state. Nevertheless, Malaysia must import some of the rice consumed. Most of the rice is grown on small family owned farms. Other important agricultural products are bananas, pineapples, coconuts and cocoa.
Nearly three-fifths of Malaysia's land area is covered by rainforest, and the country produces a lot of tropical wood. Forest harvesting has decreased in recent years, despite the fact that the controls have been inadequate. Forest replanting takes place, even if it is done with commercially viable woods.
Malaysians are self-sufficient in fish. A large part of fishing takes place at sea, but shrimp and fish farms are also available. Malaysia exports seafood, but has occasionally stopped exports of some species due to overfishing and high prices due to monsoon rains.
FACTS - AGRICULTURE
Agriculture's share of GDP
7.7 percent (2018)
Percentage of land used for agriculture
26.3 percent (2016)
Demonstration against Najib Razak
Thousands of people are demonstrating in Kuala Lumpur and demanding Prime Minister Najib Razak's departure because of the 1MDB scandal. The protest campaign is organized by the reform movement Bersih, whose followers dress in yellow. The security offer is large as the police fear that government supporters in the Red Shirts movement will confront the protesters. Leaders on both sides are apprehended before the demonstration, which however is quietly taken care of.
PKR politicians are imprisoned
Rafizi Ramli from the opposition party PKR is sentenced to 18 months in prison for leaking secretly stamped documents. This applies to an audit report that deals with the 1MDB scandal and which the government secretly stamped. Ramli is already known for his fight against corruption.
Malaysia is approaching China
Prime Minister Najib Razak visits China, where the two countries enter into cooperation agreements on, for example, defense and trade. They also agree on closer cooperation on the conflict in the South China Sea. Najib Razak's trip to Beijing is seen as approaching China and a mark against the United States, whose Justice Department is investigating high-ranking Malaysians for suspected involvement in the 1MDB scandal.
The UN condemns the security laws
The controversial security laws adopted by Parliament in December 2015 will come into force. Malaysia is condemned by the UN and human rights organizations.
The 1MDB scandal reaches the US and Singapore
The US Department of Justice is preparing a seizure of assets such as luxury housing, private aircraft and more worth over a billion dollars. The assets are located in the United States and have links to the 1MDB deal, which the US government calls a "huge fraud". Singapore also seizes close to $ 180 million for the same reason.
First IS deed in Malaysia
Eight people are injured when an explosion is performed at a bar on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur. According to the police investigation, this is Malaysia's first attack by the Islamic State (IS).
Najib Razak receives Saudi support
Prime Minister Najib Razak receives Saudi support when the Arab country's foreign minister publicly confirms that the money in his account was a donation from the Saudi government.
Mahathir Mohamad suits Najib Razak
Former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, along with two other former Umnom members, sued Najib Razak for abuse of power in connection with the release of the Prime Minister from mutiny suspicions in the 1MDB scandal. Mahathir Mohamad demands that the prime minister return the money allegedly deposited in his private account to the government.
Mahathir Mohamad leaves Umno
The former Umnol leader, who was the country's prime minister between 1981 and 2003, leaves the ruling party which he now considers to be only an organization whose sole purpose is to protect Prime Minister Najib Razak from prosecution in the 1MDB scandal. Mahathir Mohamad accuses Najib Razak of corruption, criminal activity and bribing party members for their support in the fight to avoid prosecution. Mahathir Mohamad has been a leader in the protests against the head of government. He has left Umno in a state of resentment before, including in 2008 when he was in conflict with the then Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
"Malaysia increasingly authoritarian"
Transparency International (TI) warns that Malaysia is becoming an increasingly authoritatively controlled state, as the government does what it can to silence the allegations of gross bribery with links to Prime Minister Najib Razak. TI fears that Malaysia will not live up to its international commitments to fight corruption and writes that foreign investigations can be the only way to find out what really happened to the 1MDB Fund.
New tours around the 1MDB fund
The Swiss authorities, who took the initiative to investigate the 1MDB Fund's finances and discovered malpractice and a debt of just over eleven billion dollars, now say that four billion dollars may have been stolen from the fund. The Swiss National Prosecutor suspects that money from the fund has been deposited into accounts in Switzerland, the accounts of Malaysian former civil servants and current and former United Arab Emirates civil servants. The state fund 1MDB was established in 2009 to strengthen economic and social development. Prime Minister Najib, who took the initiative to create the fund, chairs the fund's advisory board.
The bribe investigation against Najib Razak is closed
The State Prosecutor closes the preliminary investigation against Prime Minister Najib Razak since it emerged that the $ 681 million, which was initially suspected to be a bribe, was a personal gift from the Saudi royal house. According to Saudi sources, the money would be used in the party Umno's 2013 election campaign.
Suspected miscarriage in the billion class
A criminal investigation in Switzerland finds that there are "clear indications" that the 1MDB fund has been used to embezzle around $ 4 billion from state-owned companies in Malaysia.