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Malaysian Palm Oil Industry Awards 2017
PALM OIL INDUSTRY LEADERSHIP AWARD
Tan Sri Datuk Dr Yusof Basiron
He is the face and the voice of Malaysian palm oil. He is also lauded as the epitome of industry leadership. For these reasons, Tan Sri Datuk Dr Yusof Basiron was unanimously selected to receive MPOC’s annual award for outstanding contributions to the palm oil industry and the nation.
Born on June 20, 1948 in Rembau, Negeri Sembilan, Tan Sri Yusof received his early education at the Royal Military College, and obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. Not one to rest on his laurels, he pursued post-graduate degrees: a PhD in Applied Economics and Management Science at the University of Stirling, Scotland; and the MBA at the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium.
Tan Sri Yusof started his professional career at the Rubber Research Institute of Malaysia and the Malaysian Rubber Research Development Board. In 1979, he moved to the newly-formed Palm Oil Research Institute of Malaysia (PORIM) which he had helped to establish. He served as Director-General from 1992-2000. PORIM and PORLA were merged in 2000 to form the MPOB, which Tan Sri Yusof helmed as the Director-General.
As a passionate advocate of scientific research, he worked tirelessly to increase knowledge and awareness of the nutritional and economic superiority of palm oil, to counter the smear campaigns of the 1980s.
In January 2006, Tan Sri Yusof was appointed the CEO of the Malaysian Palm Oil Promotion Council. He welcomed the opportunity to transform its role to take on a comprehensive, multi-pronged strategy encompassing marketing, promotion, branding, research and corporate social responsibility. Thus the Malaysian Palm Oil Council came into being in April 2006, with Tan Sri Yusof heading it up to his retirement on Jan 17, 2017.
In 2001, Tan Sri Yusof’s astute management leadership ensured that the collapse in palm oil prices due to the global financial crisis was only a temporary setback, by introducing crucial strategies to counter this decline. He also took strong interest in managing the sustainability of the jungle eco-system, by establishing the Malaysian Palm Oil Wildlife Conservation Fund in 2006.
His knowledge, understanding and patience in conveying essential information and countering misinformation extended to social media via blogging and Twitter. And he was the final authority on facts and scientific research related to palm oil.
Tan Sri Yusof led a Malaysian delegation on two crucial occasions – to defeat the Truth in Labeling Palm Oil Bill in Australia; and to address and defeat a French attempt to impose a discriminatory tax on palm oil.
His focused professional approach and infectious enthusiasm, as well as an unwavering dedication to his work have earned him the trust and deep respect of everyone, not only in Malaysia but across the world. Tan Sri Yusof is indeed a man of great stature. He received the Globoil International Award at Globoil 2015, one of the largest trade events in the Indian vegetable oils industry. Negeri Sembilan named him the recipient of the Tokoh Maal Hijrah award in the same year.
Tan Sri Yusof is a Senior Fellow and past President of the Academy of Sciences Malaysia; and Fellow of the Malaysian Oil Scientists’ and Technologists’ Association, and of the Incorporated Society of Planters. He remains a Board Member of Bank Negara Malaysia, Sime Darby Plantation Bhd and CB Industrial Products Holdings Bhd.