KUALA LUMPUR: Lawmakers were left in stitches when Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok (pic) maintained that her youthful looks were due to consuming a spoonful of red palm oil a day.
The issue cropped up during Question Time, when Steven Choong Shiau Yoon (PH-Terbau) asked what were the health benefits of consuming a spoonful of red palm oil a day.
In her response, Kok said that red palm oil contained 20 types of beta-carotene and anti-oxidant properties, free of saturated and trans fats.
She then informed and invited lawmakers and Parliament staff to visit a palm oil exhibition held at the Parliament lobby area to savour the red palm oil.
"You will be given a free bottle of red palm oil, so that all of you can look as youthful like the Prime Minister, the Deputy Speaker (Datuk Mohd Rashid Hasnon) and I," she said, drawing laughter from the House.
There was more banter on red palm oil between Opposition chief Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob (BN-Bera) and Kok, when he disputed her suggestion for palm oil growers to diversify into commercial crops, goat and cattle breeding to cushion the impact of low palm oil prices.
Ismail said that it was proven by Felda settlers that such activities would reduce the palm oil yield.
"It seems that YB (Ismail) needs to consume more palm oil, so that you can be more clever," Kok said drawing laughter from Pakatan lawmakers.
Ismail, who was not amused, demanded that Kok retract her statement.
"Please retract the statement.
"You can joke about other things, but not this," Ismail said.
Earlier, to a supplementary question by Nor Azrina Surip (PH-Merbok), Kok said that commercial crops grown by palm oil growers have proven to be lucrative.
For example, she said a total of RM95mil worth of watermelons, RM33.9mil worth of bananas, RM27.8mil worth of pineapples and RM30.9mil worth of papaya were exported last year.
Last month, Kok became the subject of jokes by netizens when she encouraged Malaysians to consume a spoonful of red palm oil a day, as doing so has helped her maintain her youthful looks.