PETALING JAYA: The government is looking into expanding the Menu Siswa Rahmah programme to include private universities and colleges, says domestic trade and cost of living minister Salahuddin Ayub.
He said the ministry would need time to talk to the private higher education sector and examine how the affordable meal scheme – currently available only at public higher educational institutions – can be expanded.
“I only managed to focus on public higher educational institutions before Hari Raya Aidilfitri last month,” he said in a town hall event hosted by Sinar Harian.
Salahuddin said this in response to a question by a participant on whether such a scheme can be expanded to include private institutions, as a majority of students were either poor or from B40 households.
In March, higher education minister Khaled Nordin urged private higher educational institutions to provide the Menu Siswa Rahmah scheme to their students.
Meanwhile, on the subject of eggs, Salahuddin said that the supplies have recovered so there are adequate stocks in local supermarkets and grocery stores.
However, he added, should his ministry receive complaints about shortages in rural areas, he will ensure that senior officers act swiftly to resolve the matter.
Separately, Salahuddin said that he had written to Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim to give his ministry sole responsibility for franchise business matters, including the transfer of Perbadanan Nasional Bhd (Pernas). The agency that looks into financing franchises currently comes under the purview of the entrepreneur development and co-operatives ministry.
He said, while he awaits feedback from Anwar, his ministry will continue to carry out existing programmes for franchise development where it can because the Malaysian Franchise Act 1998 is under his ministry.
“If I want to wait for Pernas to be returned, then nothing will move, so what we can do is to negotiate with the entrepreneur development and cooperatives ministry to avoid clashes. We will work smart,” he added.