Focus on B40 kids, MCA chief says on free breakfast programme

MCA president Wee Ka Siong.

KUALA LUMPUR: MCA president Wee Ka Siong today urged the education ministry to review the free breakfast programme for children in primary schools, saying it should not be necessary for those in higher income groups.

Speaking to reporters in the Parliament lobby, he said the programme should focus on those in the B40 group, with any expansion of the scheme subject to government resources.

“We’re not against the programme,” he added. “They can expand the reach of the programme, but don’t do it to give contracts to suppliers.

“That’s what I feel would be a waste. We have to be careful about saving money in this.”

The programme, slated to start in January next year, will see free breakfast served to children in all primary schools across the country.

Wee said this would be a waste as even children from the T20 or top 20% income group would benefit from the programme.

“What’s the point of giving those who are already rich?” he added.

He also questioned the cost of the programme which Education Minister Maszlee Malik estimated at RM800 million to RM1.6 billion earlier today.

“Didn’t we say we are poor?” he said. “Didn’t we say we can’t help get petrol subsidies?

“There are choices. It’s not that all parents want it that much. For the poor, I agree 100%, no problem.”