Food wastage: Proposal to forbid Ramadan buffets – Saifuddin

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Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail spoke to the media during the Malaysia Food Bank Seminat at Zenith Hotel in Putrajaya. PIX: AFFAN FAUZI / MalaysiaGazette / 13 MAY 2019
Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail spoke to the media during the Malaysia Food Bank Seminat at Zenith Hotel in Putrajaya.PIX: AFFAN FAUZI / MalaysiaGazette / 13 MAY 2019

By Kasthuri Jeevendran

KUALA LUMPUR – Ramadan is supposed to be a holy month for Muslims to keep their urges in check. However, it has also become the source for wastage.

Many people tend to spend a lot to buy food for breaking fast or purchase buffet spreads during this month.

Following that, Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail expressed his regrets over the high wastage of food during the Ramadan month when Muslims are prohibited from wasting.

The Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs said, based on the figures issued by the Solid Waste Corporation of Malaysia (SWCorp), a high surge of waste during the fasting month was very frightening.

According to Saifuddin, the figure of food wastage increase from 15,000 metric tonne to 20,000 metric tonne during the Ramadan month.

“I met a Professor last week and he proposed that, among the measures which could be taken to curb food wastage is to forbid Ramadan buffets. That can stop or reduce food wastage.

“How much can we eat in buffets? To me, dates and water should be sufficient,” he said during the launch of the Food Bank Seminar at Putrajaya.

Nevertheless, when asked to elaborated further, Saifuddin said that the government does not have the power to determine the quantity of food the food industry, especially the hotel should prepare.

On the contrary, he could only advise them out of sincerity.

“What can we do? As a government, as cannot put rules or regulate the industry, such as hotels to prepare food in certain quantity.

“What we can do is to advise them to also do charities during the Ramadan. Let us remember those people who has difficulty in finding food.

“If you’d like a list, the KPDNHEP has a list of recipients who need food aid. Help them during this time,” he said.

Earlier, SWCorp has recorded 615,000 metric tonne of food wastage after the breaking of fast.

The Food Wastage Act to regulate and control the people’s habit of wasting food will be tabled in the Parliament soon.

According to Saifuddin, 120,000 Malaysians have benefited the Malaysia Food Bank Programme.

“This does not include approximately 3,000 students in the higher learning institutions, who have benefited through this programme. I hope that more will step in to give their commitment in this programme,” he said. -MalaysiaGazette

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