KUALA LUMPUR: A group of MCA Youth members handed over 10 baskets of oil palm fruit bunches to Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok for her alleged failure in addressing issues faced by smallholders.
Deputy MCA Youth chief Tan Chee Hiong, led some 10 members to Kok’s service centre in Kuchai Lama.
“We want to tell the minister that the palm oil industry has been in difficulties for a while now.
“We hope that she starts taking serious steps to address the issue, including going to the estates to hear the farmers out instead of blaming the decrease in commodities’ prices and sales on the people.
“The smallholders are suffering. She should stop saying foolish and irresponsible remarks and behave like the government,” he said.
Kok’s service centre secretary Alice Lan, who said the minister was attending a convention, accepted the baskets on her behalf.
Kok, who is also Seputeh MP, had reportedly said on Thursday that many local consumers now preferred to use other types of oil instead of 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,” she said.
Malaysia’s palm oil stockpile for November was 10.45% higher at 3.01 million tonnes from 2.72 million tonnes in October.
Tan said not discounting the export volatility in the commodities markets, Kok should “look outside” to reduce the stockpile.
“The stockpile is not caused by Malaysians not consuming palm oil. She should figure out how to promote and sell the stockpile in the international market if she is really committed to solving the problem,” he said.
In line with Kok’s argument, Tan said they were presenting her with the fruit bunches, especially with Christmas and New Year around the corner.
“Perhaps this can be a good gift idea for DAP party functions in the future,” he said.
He also called on the minister to step down if she could not resolve the problem.
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