free breakfast sugar tax soda tax The Year One students from Sekolah Kebangsaan Taman Tun Dr Ismail (1), Kuala Lumpur having their recess during their first day of school. PIX: FAREEZ FADZIL / MalaysiaGazette / 02 JANUARY 2019.
The Year One students from Sekolah Kebangsaan Taman Tun Dr Ismail (1), Kuala Lumpur having their recess during their first day of school. PIX: FAREEZ FADZIL / MalaysiaGazette / 02 JANUARY 2019.

By Manzaidi Mohd Amin

KUALA LUMPUR – The Amanah Youth expressed its disappointment over the President of MCA, Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong’s statement which questioned the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government’s decision of introducing free breakfast for all primary school children.

Its Deputy Chief, Faiz Fadzil said that the calculative leader of MCA was insensitive and has failed to understand the actual situation of the students nationwide.

He, who is also the State Assemblyman of Permatang Pasir explained that the government has made the right decision as it will prep the students mentally and physically in facing the learning process.

He also said that the measure will help the students to have a healthy lifestyle, regardless of their socio-economy status.

Faiz said, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had explained that the cost for the free breakfast will be supported by the sugar tax or soda tax which was imposed on sugary drinks since 1 June.

Besides that, the cost of the free breakfast may be reduced when the government does it through an open tender process, which is also more competitive.

“The free breakfast is vital in developing human capital as it is reported that many school children do not have breakfast before going to school.

“Based on the MyBreakfast Study by the Nutrition Society of Malaysia, a total of 20.1 percent or one out of five students do not have their breakfasts, or rarely take breakfasts,” he said in a statement today.

free breakfast soda tax sugar tax Deputy Chief of Amanah Youth, Faiz Fadzil
Deputy Chief of Amanah Youth, Faiz Fadzil

According to Faiz, the study also shows that almost 18 percent of the students from high income family do not or rarely have breakfast.

The situation is worse among students from the lower income family group. Based on the study, the rate is 28.3 percent.

“Each ringgit spent by the PH government in this programme is an investment for the future generation.

“Based on the UNICEF report, 17.7 percent of the children and teenagers in Malaysia aged five to 19 suffers from stunted grown due to malnutrition.

“The free breakfast programme is the government’s move towards the aspiration of the people who wants to see changes in the country. It also matches the concept of shared prosperity as the development of a country cannot be achieved without quality human capital,” he said. – MalaysiaGazette

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