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Starve Poor Kids? Edu Ministry Cancelling Free Breakfast For All Students

Starve Poor Kids? Edu Ministry Cancelling Free Breakfast For All Students

The decision by the Education Ministry to stop the free breakfast programme was met with derision by politicians and netizens.

Adeline Leong

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In September 2021, former education minister Dr Maszlee Malik suggested that the free breakfast programme should be reintroduced in schools nationwide under the 12th Malaysian Plan (12MP) so it can help students and teachers who are affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to The Star, the Education Ministry said that the free breakfast programme that was introduced by Maszlee in 2019 during his tenure will not be continued, stating that the present food government programmes were adequate.

READ MORE: Free breakfast for all primary students next year: Everything you need to know

Instead, the Ministry will continue with the present food plans for primary school students such as the additional food programme (RMT) with some improvements and the school milk programme which only targets the B40 students.

The free breakfast programme introduced during Maszlee’s tenure targets all students, a point he reiterated on Twitter.

Programme cancellation met with backlash

The decision by the Education Ministry, which was made known in a Parliamentary written reply on 15 November, was met with ridicule online.

The Secretary-General of Socialist Party of Malaysia Sivarajan wrote and pointed how unbelievable that the adults running the country are given breakfast every morning but the children in Malaysia do not get any morsel.

Journalist Norman Goh also tweeted his disappointment that the free breakfast programme which could have served many students was cancelled.

In response to Norman Goh, Maszlee said the programme would have benefited 2.7 million children.

Former Deputy Secretary-General of Keadilan Sharifah Shahidah explained how the new move to go back to the current food programme defeats the purpose to ensure children get nutritious breakfast.

Netizens were equally disappointed with the decision.

A netizen wrote, “Malaysia Family but starve the kids as long as the prime minister has a nice home to go to.” The netizen also pointed out the affluent lifestyles led by these ministers.

Another netizen, who once benefited from the morning breakfast programme, lamented if only we have a better government that could spend more prudently.

The next netizen, who also benefited from the programme, shared his sadness and shared that he remembers how it felt to go to class with an empty stomach.


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