KUALA LUMPUR: The government has never provided any form of subsidy to wholesaler Mydin Mohamed Holdings Berhad, which is the operator of Kedai Rakyat 1Malaysia (KR1M). Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism (KPDNKK) Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin in a written reply said that KR1M's operational cost is borne by Mydin's subsidiary. This however, contradicts Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi's statement that the government was allocating funds to ensure that items sold through KR1M outlets would be affordable. "MRT retail Sdn Bhd is fully responsible for all the operation costs to run KR1M nationwide. The government never gave any subsidy to them. "The KR1M programme is managed fully by only one company, that is MRT Retail Sdn Bhd, which is the subsidiary of Mydin Mohamed Holdings Berhad," he said in response to Oscar Ling Chai Yew (DAP-Sibu). Ling had asked the government to state the number of KR1M outlets nationwide and the allocation provided annually by the government for the project. Hamzah said that the government has spent RM106.37 million to date, to construct KR1M outlets nationwide; 130 in Peninsular Malaysia, 21 in Sabah and 33 in Sarawak, with one outlet in Labuan. Ling had also asked if there are any other companies involved in the project besides Mydin, and if Putrajaya is still channeling subsidy to KR1M, which has suffered losses. On Sunday, Ahmad Zahid had criticised the KR1M operator for allegedly selling basic goods for above market prices, adding he was informed that it was allegedly profiteering. He had reportedly said that he had instructed KPDNKK to immediately terminate the contracts of the company appointed to operate KR1M for the alleged practice. Mydin, which has been accused of profiteering, had said that the chain was an unprofitable venture undertaken for the public good. "I would only like to say that this has been a massive loss-making CSR (corporate social responsibility) project for Mydin, and we have done this for the benefit of the Malaysian rakyat (people). "Our conscience is clear. Those who know me, would know what Mydin had to endure in running this CSR project. I need not say more. Thank you for the support," Mydin managing director Datuk Amer Ali Mydin had said. The KR1M chain outlets, a brainchild of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak, were launched in 2011 as an alternative in facing the rising cost of living and increasing prices of goods.