The Malaysian Timber Committee may revise the marketing brochure in which it describes rubberwood as ‘Malaysian oak’.

The leaflet, which also compared the performance of rubberwood with temperate oak, upset both American and European oak producers who said it would lead to customer confusion (TTJ April 6).

SK Tham, director of the Malaysian Timber Council‘s London office, has now told TTJ that concerns about the brochure have been discussed and the content was likely to be changed.

‘It was never the intention to upset anyone and there was never going to be a flood of sawn “Malaysian oak” shipped to Europe or America,’ he said. ‘The idea for the name principally came from the Malaysian furniture industry and it was going to be applied to finished products. The term “oak” was chosen because of its good market image – in a way it was a compliment to the species.’

Mr Tham said that the words ‘Malaysian oak’ were still likely to be used in marketing material, but with the latin name for rubberwood (Hevea brasiliensis) alongside.

‘We also expect any references or direct comparisons to American or other oak species will be withdrawn,’ he said.