The Prime Minister said the government could use the consolidated fund from the various ministries and agencies to implement the programme to benefit pupils in government and government-aided primary schools.
Asked whether the government would use part of the soda tax revenue to fund the programme, Dr Mahathir said all proposals would be looked into.
“All taxes collected will be distributed to the ministries and agencies according to need. If there is a need for an additional allocation, we will consider. If we can afford it, we will provide it.
“But we must remember that the previous government left behind much debt and the present government has to repay it,” he told Malaysian journalists after concluding his three-day official visit to Vietnam yesterday.
Asked about the perfect menu for the pupils’ breakfast, Dr Mahathir said there were many healthy menus which were suitable for the programme.
On Monday, Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik announced that about 2.7 million pupils in government and government-aided primary schools would receive free breakfast from January.
It was reported that the government would have to spend between RM2bil and RM3bil annually on the programme, depending on the menu.
Earlier yesterday, Dr Mahathir test drove a model of VinFast, a car manufactured by Vietnam, during his visit to the Hoa Lac Hi-Tech Park.
He drove the LUX SA (A) 2.0 vehicle was driven for about 10 minutes.
The Prime Minister was accompanied by Vingroup chairman Pham Nhat Vuong and VinFast technician Nguyen Anh Hieu.
The LUX SA (A) 2.0 SUV costs 1.4bil dong (RM249,000) and is expected to go on sale in Vietnam this year.
The car is equipped with a DOHC 2.0L turbo-charged four-cylinder engine with 228hp and maximum torque of 350Nm.
Dr Mahathir was shown two models of the car, Fadil and VinFast Sedan LUX 2.0.
The Prime Minister also visited FPT Software, a global IT services and outsourcing company also located at the park in Hanoi. — Bernama
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