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Free School Breakfast Only For Students In Need, Says Tun M

"We continue with what we have first. And provide for those who deserve it."

Cover image via The Borneo Post The Malaysian Times

The free breakfast programme in primary schools will still continue.

However, it will only be provided for needy students, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today, 16 January.

In a report by The Malaysian Insight, Dr Mahathir, who is also the acting Education Minister, said that giving free breakfast to all students would be unfair as the rich would also benefit from it.

“Giving breakfast to all means that those who have money, who are rich, who eat at home, get it too. That's not fair," the Prime Minster was quoted as saying by Free Malaysia Today.

"We continue with what we have first. And provide for those who deserve it," he added.

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Image via Prime Minister's Office

This is in response to questions regarding whether the free breakfast programme would continue after former Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik resigned from the post on 3 January 2020

Previously, Dr Maszlee announced in a Facebook post on 26 August 2019 that primary school students across Malaysia will have free breakfast meals every morning beginning January 2020.

The initial plan was to run the programme, called 'Program Sarapan Percuma' (PSP), in all primary schools, benefiting 2.7 million students across Malaysia.

However, The Malaysian Insight reported that the Finance Ministry did not have the RM1.67 billion required to carry it out in all the schools.

Dr Maszlee Malik.

Image via Dr Maszlee Malik/Facebook

Instead, the programme, which is set to launch later this month, will only be rolled out in 100 schools at a cost of RM22 million

According to The Malaysian Insight, PSP will be launched on 20 January 2020. It is set to benefit 37,000 students, majority of whom are from the lower household income group (B40).

The programme will be using the grab-and-go concept and will include nutritious dairy products, drinks, and snacks such as bread, cereal, biscuits, kuih, sandwiches, and fruit or hard boiled eggs. 

Photo for illustration purposes only.

Image via New Straits TImes

Earlier this month, the Cabinet decided that Dr Mahathir would fill the Education Minister post "temporarily":

Besides introducing 'Program Sarapan Percuma', Dr Maszlee also implemented other notable policies during his tenure as Education Minister:

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