KUALA LUMPUR • Malaysian rubber has many uses but perhaps none more important than keeping the world's population growth in check, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has said.
"Rubber 'gloves' are important in stopping too many people from being born," Tun Dr Mahathir joked when launching the 9th International Rubber Glove Conference and Exhibition yesterday, The Star reported.
"Imagine the world without condoms. The world has a population of over seven billion now, it could soon be 10 billion... Our rubber has performed a great duty for humanity," he concluded, drawing laughter and applause from the audience, The Star said.
The three-day trade event features exhibitors from 14 countries as well as 800 conference participants, and is expected to draw more than 10,000 trade visitors, said the daily.
Last year, rubber gloves made up 73.2 per cent of all rubber goods Malaysia exported. Dr Mahathir said the rubber industry has continuously developed new products, ranging from tyres to surgical gloves.
"It's not the rubber itself which is important, but its application."