PONTIAN, Nov 12 — The issuance of the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certificate to smallholders in the Tanjung Piai parliamentary constituency has nothing to do with the ongoing campaign for the by-election, said Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok.
She said the certification was following the process and requirements for smallholders who were eligible for it.
“Those (smallholders) who obtain the MSPO certification will be given a set of personal protective equipment (PPE). Today, 10 smallholders receive the MSPO.
“If I were to fish for votes, I would order 1,000 sets and I would distribute it to everyone including those without an MSPO certificate. That can be called bribe and fishing for votes. But these are just 10 people who are eligible and have already received the MSPO certificate, “ she told reporters after attending the MSPO programme with the Tanjung Piai oil palm smallholders here today.
Also present were Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Salahuddin Ayub and Malaysian Palm Oil Board Integration and Extension Division director Dr Ramle Moslim.
Meanwhile, Salahuddin said it was the responsibility of the ministers and ministries to go down to the ground regardless of the timing.
“Coincidentally we are here today. The duty, entrusted to us by the people, is to present the available provisions of the government that were approved in the budget last year, “ he said.
The Tanjung Piai parliamentary by-election was called following the death of incumbent MP Datuk Dr Md Farid Md Rafik, 42, of Pakatan Harapan (PH) on Sept 21 due to heart complications. Polling is on Saturday.
The by-election is seeing a six-cornered fight between Karmaine Sardini (PH), Datuk Seri Dr Wee Jeck Seng (Barisan Nasional), Wendy Subramaniam (Gerakan), Datuk Dr Badhrulhisham Abdul Aziz (Berjasa) and two independent candidates – Dr Ang Chuan Lock and Faridah Aryani Abd Ghaffar. — Bernama