KUCHING: The DAP today claimed that meals provided to new students by Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) are below par and overpriced but Unimas has denied it.
At a press conference, Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii said they had received complaints that meals provided to the new students by caterers were “grossly below par” and overpriced.
He said the cost of the meals per day is RM20 – RM4 for breakfast, RM8 for lunch and RM8 for dinner.
“The welfare of students is the top priority. We understand that caterers want to make a profit but we must also make sure that nutritious meals are provided to all the students,” Yii said.
He urged the university to investigate the matter “swiftly” and “independently”.
Responding, Unimas deputy chancellor (alumni and student affairs) Mohd Fadzil Abdul Rahman said the Sarawak DAP was trying to politicise the issue concerning the price and quality of food prepared for its students during the university’s orientation week.
He told FMT the university had been charging students reasonable prices throughout the years and had never received any complaint from them.
Fadzil said Sarawak DAP should see how it went through the tender process and the proposals given by the caterer.
“They can easily say the food is expensive but if you force the caterers to reduce the price, they might not want to supply food to the students.
“They want to make a profit but we will also make sure that the food is of good quality,” he said.
Fadzil said the university would normally check the menu and even inform the caterers the required size of chicken to be provided.
“We would even go to the extent sometimes of using a ruler to measure the size of the chicken,” he said, adding that they would also make sure that the caterers, who were picked in an open tender, met all their expectations.
“We understand that they (Sarawak DAP) want to fight for the people’s rights but they should also be fair and tactful,” he said.
He said the students’ breakfast, lunch and dinner were prepared by different caterers to ensure the food was fresh.
With about 3,000 students, he said it was impossible to fulfil everyone’s appetite.
“Some may not like spicy, some may not like vegetables but we will always make sure the the food provided for students is clean,” he said.