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Middle-income earners flock to eateries offering meals for hardcore poor
Published on: Thursday, February 02, 2023
By: FMT, Faisal Asyraf
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Middle-income earners flock to eateries offering meals for hardcore poor
Amaliana Rosli enjoying a plate of chicken rice at the Mydin Subang food court.
PETALING JAYA: Middle-income earners are flocking to restaurants and outlets offering RM5 meals under a programme meant for the hardcore poor.

These customers, who identify themselves as M40s, are calling on Putrajaya to expand the Menu Rahmah programme to include everyone, regardless of their income status.

“Middle-income earners like me also want cheaper food while waiting for our salary at the end of the month,” Amaliana Rosli told FMT.

The 26-year-old from Subang Jaya who works at an F&B outlet said she frequented a stall at a hypermarket which usually sold chicken rice for RM7.90 a plate. She was delighted to buy the same meal for only RM5 now.

The programme, which was launched on Tuesday, will see more than 15,000 outlets participating nationwide.

S Kumar said it was “almost impossible” previously to get a plate of rice with chicken or fish and vegetables, as well as a drink, for only RM5.

“Maybe you can find that in rural areas but not in the cities. I hope the programme will last,” the 31-year-old who works for a property management firm said.

Kumar, who lives in Wangsa Maju, said the programme should benefit everyone, including those who worked in the cities where prices were higher.

“Before this, it was a tough decision to take my family to eat outside as the food was expensive. But RM5 per plate now is affordable.”

Sally Kee of Kota Kemuning said the initiative should be opened up to everyone, similar to the government’s RM150 cash aid programme for students – regardless of income bracket – to purchase school equipment.

Kee, who is attached to a private firm, however, felt that RM5 per meal was still expensive for the hardcore poor.

“Imagine if a family of five visited an eatery? The affordable price should be around RM3,” she said, adding that eateries should absorb much of the cost from the Rahmah meal.

However, retailers and restaurateurs are happy with the programme.

Ali Maju restaurant owner Jawahar Taib Khan said while the food is cheap, the portion and quality remained the same.

Mydin hypermarket managing director Ameer Ali Mydin told FMT that eateries which joined the programme didn’t mind that everyone took advantage of the affordable meal.

“On our part, our intention is to help the people make sure they don’t go hungry because of expensive meals. It’s not our job to filter them.

“We are not here to make a profit out of the programme and I hope more eateries and hypermarkets join us in this effort.”

Ali Maju restaurant owner Jawahar Taib Khan assured the public that although the price of Menu Rahmah was cheap, the portion and quality remained the same.

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