PETALING JAYA: Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok must demonstrate that she has feasible plans to uplift the palm oil industry, which is in dire straits, says MCA deputy president Datuk Dr Mah Hang Soon (pic).
Dr Mah also took a dig at Kok for chattering on about her youth, after she reportedly said she had gotten younger by taking a spoonful of palm oil a day, while millers have stopped buying oil palm.
Dr Mah suggested that perhaps she should consume more and substitute her toiletries to demonstrate the “formula for keeping young and beautiful”.
“Jibes aside, I have learnt that palm oil millers have notified via writing that they will cease buying palm fruits for two days (March 28-29). This could be the beginning of something bigger that will have a long-lasting impact on our economy,” he said in a statement Wednesday (March 27).
Dr Mah objected to Kok going on about her youth and its source, stating that the the current turn of events is devastating towards oil palm smallholders and dealers.
He said that the idle talk in the face of an industry disaster is “vexing”, and that said chatter about one’s youth is completely unhelpful in relieving the plight of the affected.
“It is no secret that our palm oil industry is in dire straits. As the Primary Industries Minister, Teresa Kok must demonstrate that she has feasible plans, both short-term and long-term, to strengthen the sales and market of this commodity; instead of simply directing smallholders to plant other crops such as bamboo, coconuts and pineapples, or even more facetiously, encouraging the rest of us to drink palm oil.
“I advise Teresa Kok to immediately provide aid and subsidies to smallholders; help them overcome this period of turmoil, and at the same time, prepare a long-term game plan to expand the market,” he added.