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What to do when you can’t afford to eat?
Rising living costs, financial independence, and accessibility to food are all reasons many univeristies students are facing hunger.
In response, local institutions of higher learning (IPTs) are serving RM3.50 meals so all students, especially the B40 group, can afford to eat.
The initiative is in line with the Malaysian Family Student Food Basket initiative by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
Kerajaan akan menawarkan menu makanan berkualiti pada harga siling RM3.50 untuk satu hidangan menerusi ‘Bakul Makanan Siswa Keluarga Malaysia’ bagi menangani isu kenaikan kos sara hidup di kalangan pelajar universiti.
#KeluargaMalaysia #JaPenSelangor #JabatanPenerangan pic.twitter.com/M6rbqJ2cQ1
— JaPen Selangor (@japenselangor1) July 13, 2022
In Universiti Malaya, students can get economy rice set meals at RM3.50 or RM5 at all residential college cafeterias.
The RM3.50 set came with white rice, omelette and vegetables or ulam, while the RM5 set comes with an extra chicken or fish.
— ERWIN AHMAD (@erwinahmad_) July 13, 2022
Other major public universities such as Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) are also offering their own RM3.50 menus.
Previously, the food sold was around RM7 to RM8 which is beyond the reach of many poor students.
Pelajar Ijazah Sarjana Muda Bahasa & Linguistik, Muhammad Nurfathi Abdul Hamid, 23, dari Selangor, berkata, makan sekali sehari bukan perkara asing & apabila terpaksa mengikat perut, dia hanya makan pada waktu malam dengan ‘nasi bujang,’ sebuku roti / naan harga RM2 sekeping.
— Amira Radin Salamat (@eimeerose) February 2, 2022
Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) offers 14 Malaysian Family menus through more than 400 stalls at the main campus and branches.
UiTM Vice-Chancellor, Datuk Dr Roziah Mohd Janor, said the stallholders agreed upon the implementation which made it possible.
It is said that some students ate once a day, and even worked part-time to cover daily expenses.
Apa la yang nak dihairankan sangat. Nama pun UiTM, memang rata2 B40 pun student dia macam aku ni. So setakat pelajar ada duit cukup2 makan, sorang dua tak ada laptop sebab tak mampu. Itu memang realiti pun. Usaha jelah mana yang mampu untuk bantu.
— Que🦋 (@quetabby) March 31, 2022
Besides the RM3.50 option, other menus remain available for those who can afford to spend more.
Several universities around the capital continue to charge between RM5 to RM6 for a plate of rice with chicken and vegetables, not including drinks.
Some operators of cafes and food shops on campus said the initiative is impossible to implement.
They said that selling at RM3.50 would result in them facing huge losses.
Some traders said they would lose RM2.50 if a dish of rice with chicken and vegetables is sold for RM3.50 a plate.