Minister of Primary Industries, Malaysia

Speaking Session

17 Oct, Thursday

4.30 pm

Short Biography

Teresa Kok is Minister of Primary Industries in the Malaysian Cabinet which overlooks national  commodities like  palm oil, rubber, timber, pepper and cocoa.

She is the Deputy Secretary-General of the Democratic Action Party (DAP), a partner in the national ruling coalition Pakatan Harapan

She holds a Bachelor of Communication from Universiti Sains Malaysia, in Penang, in 1990, and obtained a Master of Philosophy from University of Malaya. Her thesis was on United Malays National Organization (UMNO), titled “Factionalism in Umno During Dr Mahathir’s Era (1981–2001)”.

She is fluent Mandarin, English and Bahasa Malaysia. 

Her foray into politic begun in 1990 when she was appointed as a political secretary to the then Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang.

She contested in her first parliamentary election as a candidate for DAP in Ipoh Barat seatin 1995, but lost. 

In 1999, she won the Seputeh Parliamentary seat in Kuala Lumpur. She has held the seat in subsequent four general elections, with increased majority each time. 

She received the highest majority votes in the country during the 2008 and 2013 elections, with 36,492 and 51,552 majority votes respectively.

She was Kinrara state assemblyman for the 2008-2013 term and Selangor State Minister for Investment, Trade and Industry, after the then Pakatan Rakyat opposition pact which DAP was part of, took over the Selangor state government in 2008.

She was appointed into the Cabinet of Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad following the historical 2018 general election in Malaysia, which saw Pakatan Harapan defeating the Barisan Nasional Government after 60 years in power.

During her long political career, she endured a 7-day arrest in 2008 under the now-abolished Internal Security Act that allowed for detention without trial. She sued the Government for wrongful arrest and won her case in the Federal Court in 2017.