PETALING JAYA: An executive councillor from PAS-led Terengganu has dismissed claims he mocked the Menu Rahmah programme after he had been criticised for allegedly complaining about the initiative in a video.
Chukai assemblyman Hanafiah Mat said the meal he had ordered was not under the Menu Rahmah programme.
“It wasn’t the Menu Rahmah. I never said it was Menu Rahmah,” he told FMT.
In an 18-second video, which had gone viral earlier, Hanafiah complained about a meal he ordered, calling it tasteless, before pouring orange juice on his rice.
“It has fish, vegetables, but no gravy. Here is the gravy,” he said, while pouring his drink on the meal. “Now, there is some taste.”
Hanafiah’s remarks were criticised by netizens and politicians, including MPs and assemblymen from Umno and Pakatan Harapan.
They claimed the PAS man was being insensitive to the plight of the poor for whom the Menu Rahmah programme had been targeted.
Muar MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman said Hanafiah’s actions were “embarrassing”, pointing out that many people who were poor and struggling in life have benefited from the initiative by the unity government.
Umno’s Telok Mas assemblyman, Abdul Razak Abdul Rahman, also hit out at Hanafiah, saying an elected representative like him should set a good example for the people instead of being arrogant.
Communications and digital minister Fahmi Fadzil said Hanafiah’s actions were akin to insulting a blessing from God, describing them as “despicable and immoral”.
Responding to the criticism, Hanafiah said he never ate rice without gravy and simply used his drink as a substitute. He said he finished everything on his plate.
He said he would take legal action against those who spread defamatory claims about him, adding that they were “jealous” of his success as an executive councillor in Terengganu.