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Sunday, June 28, 2015

BIGGEST JOKE: Restaurants junk Najib's 1Malaysia meals due to dropping popularity, rising costs

BIGGEST JOKE: Restaurants junk Najib's 1Malaysia meals  due to dropping popularity, rising costs
Menu Rakyat 1Malaysia (MR1M) - Putrajaya's cheap meals programme - is quietly being discontinued by some restaurant operators.
According to Chinese daily Nanyang Siang Pau, affected operators had claimed that it was not viable due to the rising costs.
Among those affected is Ukhwah restaurant in Medan Tuanku, Kuala Lumpur. This restaurant was one of the MR1M pioneer.
Najib had visited the restaurant, with much fanfare, in 2011 when the programme was first launched.
In Penang, three MR1M pioneers had quietly discontinued the programme after two years. Apart from Penang and Kuala Lumpur, Nanyang said its investigation also covered Perak and Selangor.
Some restaurant operators had told the daily that the programme was well-received when it was first launched in July 2011 due to curiosity.
"But as days passed, no one asks about the set menu anymore, showing that the program did not meet what consumers wanted," the report added.
The MR1M was a government campaign where participating restaurants offered breakfast and lunch set meals at low prices, and had chalked up over 1,000 participating outlets in its first two months.
Discrepancies
The participating restaurants received no cash aid from the government, but instead they receive help with publicity including through newspapers, banners and a listing on the domestic trade ministry's website.
Nanyang reported that there are "discrepancies" between what was listed on the website's listings and what was really happening on the ground, but did not elaborate.
In an effort to promote the program, Najib had a well-publicised visit to Ukhwah on Oct 18, 2011, with media outlets featuring photos of him posing with his lunch that he had supposedly paid RM3 for.
It comprised of rice with two portions of chicken, a portion of fried meat, bean sprouts and poppadum.
Ukhwah Cooperative president Rahim Baba had clarified at the time that the meal had actually cost the premier RM4 due to the extra pieces of meat he took, and said the newspapers may have made a mistake.
Despite the explanation, the visit continued to cause controversy as opposition MPs highlighted that during their own visits afterwards, they were charged RM6 for the same meal. - M'kini

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