Pilot initiative underway to ensure smooth implementation of Free Breakfast Programme

09 Oct 2019 / 15:07 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: Seven schools from four states are part of a pilot initiative to ensure smooth implementation of the Free Breakfast Programme, said Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik (pix).

The pilot initiative is made up of national, vernacular, and Orang Asli schools.

Maszlee was responding to a query from Sabri Azit (Jerai-PAS) who asked the Education Ministry to explain in detail the implementation of the Free Breakfast Programme for all primary school students from 2020.

“The free breakfast programme is to benefit almost 2.7 million students and will cost between RM800 million and RM1.67 billion for 200 school days a year,“ he told the Dewan Rakyat today.

Citing the National Health and Morbidity Survey, Maszlee said about 70% of school children tend to skip breakfast in the morning.

The breakfast menu will be based on guidelines from the Health Ministry to ensure students have a nutritious diet.

Elaborating further, Maszlee assured that the meal served would be nutritious.

The Free Breakfast Programme, he said will be handled the same way as the current Supplementary Food Programme (RMT), and it will be prepared by each school’s respective canteens.

“The programme is not just about food, but it is a holistic package.

“It will allow children to pick up civic lessons, by learning the etiquette of eating, how to dispose of their food properly, and washing their own plates.

“We want Malaysia’s future generation to be healthy and instilled with good etiquettes,“ added Maszlee.

Later, when met at the Parliament lobby, MCA president Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong questioned the government’s decision to provide the free breakfast for all students, saying the focus should instead only be for the needy.

“You (government) should spend based on your capability, and maybe give it only to the B40 students. If you have more money to spend, then expand to the M40. But no, you decide to give it to everyone, including the T20,” he said.

Wee said the move was also not consistent with the government’s continuous claim that it was on a tight budget, pointing out to the recent decision to provide fuel subsidy only for the lower income group.

“I thought we (Malaysia) are poor? Didn’t you (government) say you can’t support petrol subsidy for everyone, but now you are giving this (free breakfast).

“I’m not saying you shouldn’t do it, but please look at our financial capability.

Don’t just do it for the sake of giving contracts to suppliers. We need to be careful in our spending,” he said.

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