KUALA LUMPUR: Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok brushed aside calls for her resignation by protestors outside Parliament.
"I don't know why they are protesting.
"I believed they were brought here by opposition lawmakers to protest," she said when met at Parliament lobby here on Monday (Nov 4).
When informed that the protestors were smallholder and palm oil settlers, Kok said she could not understand what was their grouse when palm oil prices have risen over the past 10 months.
"The price of palm oil was above RM1,700 per metric last December and had gone up to RM2,485 per metric as of Oct 31 this year.
"That is a rise of about of RM700 and that is why I am dumbfounded as to why they protesting," she added.
Kok described the move by some opposition MPs to bring protestors here as 'unwise'.
Earlier in Dewan Rakyat, Kok informed lawmakers that country's palm oil export had risen by 19.7%.
A group of protestors, comprising several non-governmental organisations, gathered outside the road leading to Parliament around 9am on Monday.
Besides calling for Kok's resignation, the group also wanted to know the government's strategy to assist the industry and smallholders.
They later handed a memorandum to opposition chief Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
When met, Ismail Sabri said there is boycott pressure from the European Union and India on Malaysian palm oil which had affected palm oil prices.
"What we have heard so far from the minister is to replant bamboo instead as an alternative and take a teaspoon of palm oil every morning.
"We don't feel confident this can solve the problems," he said.
He urged the government to come out with short, mid-term and long term strategies to overcome the challenges faced by the industry and smallholders.
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