The implementation of the Menu Rahmah initiative, which offers meals at RM5 and below, involves no expenditure or allocation from the government, says Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Minister Salahuddin Ayub.
Salahuddin said it was instead up to the commitment of the food operators who had voluntarily joined the initiative.
He said since its launch, Menu Rahmah had been well received throughout the country with many eateries responding to the government’s goal of helping to feed those in need, especially the B40 group.
"Many traders are racing to join this initiative by offering food for as low as RM5 at their outlets. This means they want to do it together, in the spirit of charity, without anyone being compelled.
"So the concept here is clear, not a single sen of government money is involved," he said in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
Salahuddin said his ministry had never forced any business, entrepreneur or food industry player, big or small, to become involved in the sale of Menu Rahmah.
"We do not (need to) compel. Rather, it is a deal with the industry including Mydin (Mydin Mohamed Holdings Berhad), the Malaysian Indian Muslim Restaurant Owners Association, Pertom and the Malaysian Indian Restaurant Owners Association.
"It was only after this engagement session that we presented the Menu Rahmah idea with the target buyers being those who need daily meals at an affordable price," he said.
He also said his ministry was developing an application with a directory of eateries that offer Menu Rahmah dishes throughout the country.
He said this was to provide the people with more information about the food operators participating in the government’s initiative in their area, as well as to promote the outlets that provide Menu Rahmah meals.
Salahuddin launched the Menu Rahmah initiative on Jan 31, with as many as 15,000 eateries joining the effort to help reduce the cost of living for the public, especially the poor.