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1Malaysia meals off the menu in some restaurants
Published:  Jun 28, 2015 9:26 AM
Updated: Jun 29, 2015 2:03 AM

Menu Rakyat 1Malaysia (MR1M) - Putrajaya's cheap meals programme - is quietly being discontinued by some restaurant operators.

According to Chinese daily Nanyang Siang Pau , the affected operators claimed that it was not viable due to the rising costs.

Among those affected is Ukhwah Restaurant in Medan Tuanku, Kuala Lumpur. This restaurant was one of the MR1M pioneers.

Najib had visited Ukhwah Restaurant, with much fanfare, in 2011 when the programme was first launched.

In Penang, three MR1M pioneers have quietly discontinued the programme after two years. Apart from Penang and Kuala Lumpur, Nanyang said, its investigation also covered Perak and Selangor.

Some restaurant operators told the daily that the programme was well-received when it was first launched in July 2011, largely due to curiosity.

"But as days passed, no one asks about the set menu anymore, showing that the programme did not meet what consumers wanted," the report says.

The MR1M was a government campaign, with participating restaurants offering set meals for breakfast and lunch at low prices, and had chalked up over 1,000 participating outlets in its first two months.


The participating restaurants received no cash aid from the government, but instead they received help with publicity, including through newspapers, banners and a listing on the domestic trade ministry's website .

Nanyang reported that there were "discrepancies" between what was listed on the website's listings and what was really happening on the ground, but it did not elaborate.

In an effort to promote the programme, Najib had a well-publicised visit to Ukhwah Restaurant on Oct 18, 2011, with media outlets featuring photos of him posing with his lunch, for which he had supposedly paid RM3.

It comprised rice with two portions of chicken, a portion of fried meat, bean sprouts and pappadum.

Ukhwah Cooperative president Rahim Baba had clarified at the time that the meal had actually cost the prime minister RM4, due to the extra pieces of meat he took, and said the newspapers may have made a mistake.

Despite the explanation, the visit continued to cause controversy as opposition MPs highlighted that during their own visits afterwards, they were charged RM6 for the same meal.

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