PONTIAN: Pakatan Harapan candidate Karmaine Sardini (pic) has defended his remarks that palm oil smallholders living in villages should be grateful for the current price of palm oil.
“What I meant was we should be grateful. No matter how much yields we got, we should be grateful.
“Rezeki itu Allah yang tentukan (Allah determines our sustenance). As Muslims, we should be grateful with what we have. But it’s okay-lah, ” he told reporters when met at the Kukup Golf Resort on Monday (Nov 4).
He was commenting on his remark made in a ceramah at Kukup on Sunday (Nov 3) night, which had drawn flak from the public.
During the ceramah, Karmaine reportedly told smallholders, particularly those in villages, not to complain about the decline in oil palm prices, as the current price is still higher compared to what it was during the Barisan Nasional administration.
He said that Pakatan was getting complaints that palm oil prices have declined to about RM270 per tonne.
“We should be grateful for RM270. RM270 is a lot, it’s not little.
“If they have 10 acres, they can get five tonnes of fruit at least... Times that with RM270 and that is more than RM1,000.
“If you live in a village, what do you have to pay for? If you want to eat vegetables, you can grow it yourselves. You only need to pay for fuel.
“You have to be grateful for this, even if it is just a bit, we can still eat, ” Karmaine was quoted as saying by news portal Malaysiakini.
He also claimed that under the former Barisan administration, oil palm prices had dropped to RM87 a tonne.
Barisan's candidate Datuk Seri Dr Wee Jeck Seng from MCA had previously pointed out that oil palm smallholders are facing hardship with the disappointing price outlook for the commodity and the government has to do more to address the problem.
The Tanjung Piai polls on Nov 16 will be a six-cornered fight between Pakatan’s Karmaine, Barisan’s Wee, Gerakan’s Wendy Subramaniam, Pan Malaysian Islamic Front (Berjasa)’s Badhrulhisham Abdul Aziz, and two independent candidates - Faridah Aryani Abdul Ghaffar and Ang Chuan Lock.
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