Don’t waste food, says Wan Azizah

Deputy Prime Minister Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail (second right) presenting aid to the underprivileged at the Nurul Hidayah Mosque in Kampung Pandan Dalam this evening. With her is Pandan Indah assemblyman Izham Hashim (right).

KUALA LUMPUR: With 10 days of Ramadan remaining, Deputy Prime Minister Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail today reminded Muslims to not waste food.

Wan Azizah pointed out that during the fasting month, there is usually an increase of 20% in homeless people looking for free food for sahur and the breaking of fast.

“There are many homeless along the pavements, and we find an increase in homeless seeking free food during Ramadan,” she said.

The National Welfare Foundation, which she chairs, provides places at the Anjung Singgah centre for homeless people to break fast in an orderly manner, and to see that we do not waste food, she said at a breaking of fast at Nurul Hidayah Mosque in Kampung Pandan Dalam here this evening.

Some 2,500 people attended the event, at which Wan Azizah presented aid to 350 underprivileged people.

Wan Azizah, who is MP for Pandan, said food provided by well-meaning people was often thrown away.

“That is sadly very wasteful. We want this practice of throwing away food done away with. Don’t waste food. Just eat what is enough for you,” she said.

Solid Waste And Public Cleaning Management Corporation recently revealed that about 20,000 tonnes of food are discarded by restaurants and hotels every week during the fasting month.

Deputy Prime Minister Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail stepped away from the stage to present aid to one of the underprivileged folk who was unable to go up the steps.

Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail reportedly pointed out that Malaysians threw away 15,000 tonnes of food every week but the number skyrockets to 20,000 tonnes during Ramadhan.

Social activist Syed Azmi Alhabshi had also voiced his outrage on his Facebook account, on copious amounts of food packets being discarded in a rubbish bin by the roadside.

“Yet again, the same problem as previous years. It seems as though the Malaysian rakyat are either stupid or foolish,” he said in his posting. “It’s been said many times already, work with the NGOs in order to avoid duplication. Not just duplication with NGOs but with other ad hoc groups as well. Wasted pahala (rewards)?”

Wan Azizah, who is women, family and community development minister, urged Muslims to maintain their healthy lifestyles beyond the fasting month, as it was their duty to take good care of their bodies. Besides performing the fast, Muslims must also steer clear of bad deeds and vices.

Among those present at the event were Pandan Indah assemblyman Izham Hashim and PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli, the former Pandan MP. He declined to speak to reporters at the conclusion of the event, and left in a hurry.