Free breakfast only for underprivileged primary students: Mahathir

Free breakfast only for underprivileged primary students: Mahathir

Malaysia school children breakfast
The free breakfast programme for Malaysian primary schools will be rolled out as planned, said Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. (Photo: Bernama) 

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s free breakfast programme in primary schools will target underprivileged students only, said Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on Thursday (Jan 16).

His remarks put to rest the uncertainty shrouding the programme following the resignation of education minister Maszlee Malik earlier this month.

“We will continue with the existing programme but the focus will be on those in need.

“If many of those (students) with money, who are rich, and who have food at home also receive it, it’s not fair,” Dr Mahathir, who is also acting Education Minister, said.

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The free breakfast programme was supposed to kick in for 100 pilot schools next Monday, involving 37,000 students at an estimated cost of RM22 million (US$5 million).

Mr Maszlee had said that the programme was the brainchild of Dr Mahathir, who was inspired by free breakfast provided to school children in Japanese schools.

The programme would instil civic values in the children through learning wash their plates and dispose of their food properly, he was quoted as saying by local media.  

Schools and parents were therefore unsure if the programme would be scraped along with his departure.

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On Thursday, Dr Mahathir said the beneficiaries of the programme would be increased from time to time.

“We will continue with what we have now, and we will add in those who deserve to have some support,” he said, according to Malaysiakini.

Source: Bernama/CNA/tx