MCA Youth presents baskets of oil palm fruit bunches at Kok's office as a sign of protest

  • Nation
  • Friday, 14 Dec 2018

Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok Suh Sim said the use of B10 biodiesel would also enable the government to save RM1.6 billion in diesel import costs annually.

KUALA LUMPUR: Baskets of oil palm fruit bunches were presented at the office of Seputeh MP Teresa Kok, in protest of her failure to address issues faced by smallholders.
Led by deputy MCA Youth chief Tan Chee Hiong, more than 10 members arrived at Kok’s service centre in Kuchai Lama with the fruit bunches.
However, the Primary Industries Minister was not around to accept the fruit baskets.
Her service centre secretary accepted it on her behalf.
According to Tan, they were there to present the fruit baskets to tell the minister that the palm oil industry has been facing a difficult time.
“We hope she starts taking serious steps to address the issue, including going to the estates to hear the farmers out, instead of blaming the decrease of the commodities' price and sales on the people," he said when met here on Friday (Dec 14).
Kok reportedly said on Thursday (Dec 13) that many Malaysian consumers preferred to use canola, sunflower and soy oil imported from Europe, instead of Malaysian palm oil.
"As Malaysians, if we don't appreciate local products, how are we going to export it? We want it to be sold in the United States, China and Europe.
"We Malaysians don't appreciate palm oil but it is good, nutritious and important for our economy,” she said adding that there was an anti-palm oil lobby in Europe with consumer goods such as biscuits and chocolates having labels stating that they were free of palm oil.
Malaysia’s palm oil stockpile for November was 10.45% higher at 3.01 million tonnes from 2.72 million tonnes in October.
CIMB Research projected Malaysian palm oil stocks to increase 2% to 3.07 million tonnes at the end of this month, as production is expected to exceed exports.
This projection was made after the Malaysian Palm Oil Board said on Dec 10 that the country’s total palm oil stockpile rose 10.45% to 3.007 million tonnes in November from October’s 2.72 million tonnes.
Not discounting the export volatility in the commodities markets that has been felt over the past few years with palm oil not being spared the market swing, Tan said it was high time for Kok to “look outside” to rid of the stockpile.
“We have never experienced palm oil stockpile of over 3 million tonnes before this.
“She wanted Malaysians to consume more palm oil. The fact is, we are consuming palm oil. The stockpile is not caused by Malaysians not consuming palm oil per se.
“She should figure out how to promote and sell the stockpile at the international market, if she is really committed to solve the problem,” he added.
When asked, Tan said that the gimmick of presenting the oil palm fruit bunches was in line with Kok’s call on Malaysians to consume more palm oil.
“According to her logic, we are presenting her the fruit baskets, especially when Christmas and New Year are approaching.
“Perhaps this can be a good gift idea for DAP party functions in the future to help solve the stockpile problem,” he said, adding that the fruit bunches were given to the wing by affected smallholders.
Tan said that Kok should step down as the minister if she was still unable to solve the problem in the near future, adding that MCA Youth will up its protest to further bring up the issue.
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