PUTRAJAYA, April 19 — Rice allegedly thrown away at a dumpsite in Temerloh, Pahang was determined to be spoilt and unsafe for consumption by the Agriculture and Food Security Ministry (KPKM).

The ministry said in a statement today that the finding was the result of an investigation conducted by the Temerloh branch Padi and Rice Supervision Section (KPB) that was at the dumpsite, near Jalan Pintasan Rumpun Makmur-Gunung Senyum, Kuala Krau, along with the Solid Waste Management Corporation (SWCorp).

“The ministry views the issue seriously and took immediate action to investigate with a KPB team from Termerloh branch,” the ministry said, adding that any disposal of rice needed to be referred to the KPB.

The ministry also advised the public to refrain from speculating on the matter as it was being investigated under the Control of Padi and Rice Act 1994.

Former Kuala Krau MP Datuk Seri Ismail Mohamed Said issued a statement earlier in the day to clarify the foodstuff, including rice, flour and cans of sardines, thrown at the dumpsite were part of an existing stock of daily necessities for public use during his time as MP that he kept at a storage.

He said that the items were removed as they were unfit to be distributed to the public after he discovered that they were tainted by several dead rats and rice weevils following complaints by neighbours on April 5 about a foul smell coming from the storage area.

He explained that the items were bought using his own allocations before the 15th general election in 2022 and did not involve any federal or state governments’ allocation, Covid-19 or flood preparation assistance, and that part of the rice had been handed to nearby chicken and duck breeders.

Ismail also took responsibility and expressed regret over the entire incident, and apologised about the manner in which the items were disposed.

Meanwhile SWCorp Pahang director Sharudin Hamid said in a media conference today that the dumpsite was operating without any approval from SWCorp, adding that the corporation had acted to close the site temporarily till investigations by several authorities were completed.

He added that those involved in dumping controlled solid waste in unpermitted areas can be charged under Section 71(1) of the Solid Waste and Public Cleansing Management Act 2007. — Bernama