SUBANG: The RM5 Menu Rahmah for the hardcore poor is not a one-off initiative, says Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Minister Datuk Seri Salahuddin Ayub.
He said the initiative to offer meals priced at RM5 and below specifically for the hardcore poor was made possible due to the earnest support from stakeholders, who have stepped up to help the public deal with the increasing cost of living.
The move was achieved following an engagement session on Jan 26 with the Malaysian Indian Restaurant Owner's Association (Primas), Malaysian Muslim Restaurant Owners Association (Presma), Malaysian Tomyam Operators Association, Malaysian Singapore Coffee Shop Proprietors General Association (MCSPGA), Bumiputra Retailers Organisation (BRO), Malaysia Retail Chain Association (MRCA) and Malaysia Retailers Association (MRA).
"We will be placing a sticker at the premises to indicate Menu Rahmah so that people will be able to buy the food daily.
"This is not a one-off initiative and it depends on how long the stakeholders are willing to offer this," he told reporters after the launching of the menu at Mydin Subang Jaya Hypermarket here today (Jan 31).
Also present were Mydin Mohamed Holdings Berhad (Mydin) managing director cum BRO president Datuk Ameer Ali Mydin, Presma president Datuk Jawahar Ali Taib Khan and Primas president Govindasamy Jayabalan.
When asked about how the price is capped at RM5 compared with the average market price of RM8 per plate, Salahuddin said that the extra cost was a contribution by the stakeholders.
He said those involved were willing to reduce their profit margin and not compromise on the portion of food.
Salahuddin also said the menu included rice, chicken or fish and vegetables as well as other varieties offered by the industry players.
"We will be extending the cooperation between the ministry and the industry players nationwide soon.
"Through this, we hope no one will be left behind, especially the poor going hungry...and I don't think those who are not in the B40 will take advantage because they can afford to choose," he said.
As part of the launch, Mydin also contributed 5,000 Menu Rahmah packs to 5,000 Universiti Teknologi Mara students from the B40 group.
On the cooperation between the ministry and industry players, Ameer Ali said that it was important to have someone to lead such an initiative.
"Our concern is not about whether it was doable or not, we had to ascertain if there is a loss, so after calculating the RM5, we found that it can be done.
"So the plan can go on for a longer period but it depends on the global economic situation. As far as Mydin is concerned, we will go (with the initiative) for three months at least," he said.
He added the initiative presented a good marketing opportunity for industry players without needing any subsidies.
Meanwhile, Jawahar said this initiative was about what and how the players can contribute to the government.
"We are committed to this and this is not one-off. We will go on as long as we can," he said.