KUALA LUMPUR: Economy minister Rafizi Ramli has defended his statement that Malaysians are “addicted” to eating out, stating that it is based on collected data.
He said his comments were based on household expenditure and income in the past 20 years, adding that such data was collected by the government every two years.
“And you can see that the proportion of income that goes into eating out, either takeaway or at restaurants or stalls, has grown over the years,” he told reporters after the Dana Perintis official launch event at the Integra Tower today.
Rafizi said this when asked to respond to former Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin who said that the minister’s comments, which drew flak online, were unnecessary.
Khairy had also said that the people yearned to hear solutions from ministers like Rafizi, and not the cause of problems.
Malaysiakini recently reported Rafizi as saying that Malaysians were spending a significant amount of their income on eating out, adding that they were “addicted” to doing so.
Responding to Rafizi’s earlier statement, Khairy said Rafizi’s attempt to reveal his thoughts regarding the eating-out culture could be appreciated, but it ended up having an opposite effect on the people.
Rafizi said the government is taking steps to address the issue, including reviewing subsidies.
“We are looking at how we can spend the RM80 billion to RM100 billion in blanket subsidies… to focus on the households that really need them,” he said.
“Isn’t that a solution?”
We are live on Telegram, subscribe here for breaking news and the latest announcements.