SUBANG JAYA, Jan 31 — Ministry of Domestic Trade and Cost of Living (KPDN) said today it is targeting to launch the “Menu Rahmah” initiative for the hardcore poor in 15,000 premises nationwide.

Its minister Datuk Seri Salahuddin Ayub said around 12,000 premises have already offered in Menu Rahmah, including restaurants affiliated with the Malaysian Indian Restaurant Owners Association (PRIMAS), the Malaysian Muslim Restaurant Owners Association (PRESMA), Malaysia Singapore Coffee Shop Proprietors General Association (MCSPGA), and Mydin supermarket outlets nationwide.

“I will try to have 15,000 premises involved in this initiative,” said Salahuddin in a press conference after the launch of Menu Rahmah at Mydin Subang Jaya here today.

“Menu Rahmah” is an initiative to serve lunch or dinner sets at the recommended price of RM5. Each meal includes rice, a choice of protein such as chicken or fish, a portion of vegetables and a bottle of mineral water.

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When asked if restaurants that join this programme would be subsidised, Salahuddin said the government is trying to make this a zero-budget initiative.

However, he said he would propose at the next Cabinet meeting that participants receive possible incentives, such as reduced rental rates and easier applications for migrant labour.

Salahuddin added that the programme differed from a previous administration’s “1 Malaysia Menu”, which he said was unsuccessful due to the unsustainably low prices that had been set.

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“Owners who struggled financially can reach out to us, we have a designated association. I have talked to the owners; they say there is still some profit margin but they need to compromise a bit.

“We will pay attention to this and always listen to the association and discuss if there’s any problem, but so far they say the RM5 recommended price is doable,” he added.