KUALA LUMPUR, June 23 — According to the Muslim Consumers' Association (PPIM), Malaysians waste up to RM9 billion worth of food during the holy month of Ramadan.
PPIM's Datuk Nadzim Johan said the “unbelievable” wastage during the breaking of fast creates artificial demand and pushes prices up in the market.
“Today, chicken prices, vegetable prices are going up because people waste. I am told that this waste costs RM9 billion during the fasting month. This is an unbelievable amount,” he was reported as saying in The Malaysian Insider today.
In condemning the culture of wastage, he said that many Muslims were “trapped” in a fasting culture where they abstain the whole day then go overboard when buying food only to throw a lot of it away after consuming what they can.
“This is a culture that I fear will ruin the community. Malaysians have to condemn this culture,” he was reported telling members of the media at the group’s headquarters in Kuala Lumpur today.
Nadzim said that the excessive leftovers during Ramadan was due to over-preparation of food, especially at hotel buffets.
“In the fasting month, some hotels prepare 100 foods. Who can eat that much? I do not know," he said, adding that overindulging while breaking fast sent the wrong signal because there were still many who went hungry in this country.
He said a food collection centre must be established to prevent wastage.
It was recently reported that the Solid Waste And Public Cleansing Management Corporation (SWCorp) said about 270,000 tonnes of food goes to waste during the month of Ramadan, with 9,000 tonnes wasted on a daily basis.
To put it into perspective, that amount of food could have fed 180 million people, six times the country's population of 27 million.
“If the food was placed in a single pile, it would stand as tall as 30 KLCC buildings,” a Bernama report stated last Friday.