.Government gives in to students, agrees to make it free
Latthalilat Thamplom, Monyet News Network, 23 April, 2012
Putrajaya, 23 April. The Federal government finally relented after weeks of student protests in the city. The rallies and sit-in protests, which begun in February, had severely disrupted business in the city centre and embarrassed the Government. The rallies continued daily despite appeals by politicians and religious leaders. Over 2,000 students had camped at the iconic Dataran Merdeka, demanding what they claim is only the people’s basic right.
Speaking on behalf of the Prime Minister, the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Kuthubudeen Hj. Maidin, told journalists that the Federal government, after much deliberation, has agreed to the demands by the students. The decision alone will cost the nation about RM 25 billion over the next 10 years.
“After carefully considering the demands by our university students and taking into account the pleas by the Opposition Leader Datuk Anwar Ibrahim, the Cabinet today agreed that basic rights of the rakyat must be respect. Although this will cost the nation huge amounts of money, it is the right thing to do. The decision will go into effect next month.” explained Datuk Kuthubudeen.
Datuk Kuthubudeen added “free food is more important than free education or free transport or free healthcare. Without food, people will die. Our students were right. Free food is basic right of all Malaysians. As a caring government, we are committed to providing free food to all Malaysians. With free food, there is no reason for our people to go out to work. Why work when you can get food for free?”
Starting 1 May 2012, three basic necessities - teh tarik, roti canai and telur setengah masak - will be free to all Malaysians. Every Malaysian will be entitled to 30 food coupons a month which can be used to redeem the three items at over 6,000 mamak restaurants throughout the country. The free food scheme will be branded as 1MakanFree and will be personally launched by the Prime Minister at the end of the month. It is understood that teh O ais limau, nasi lemak and roti bakar might be included in the scheme in the near future.
To prevent profiteering, the food coupons will carry each person’s name and cannot be exchanged for cash. However, choice of the three items will be left to the individuals. Datuk Kuthubudeen added “for example, if someone does not want the telur setengah masak, they can have an extra roti or an extra glass of teh tarik instead. But if they want roti telor instead of roti biasa, then they will pay to for out their own money lah”’.
Monyet News Network has been reliably informed that the government has already decided that local university students and politicians from both sides would be entitled to 45 coupons each, 50% more than other Malaysians. Since they spend a lot of time protesting, whining, talking and shouting, it was felt that they needed the extra calories.
Meanwhile in Kelang, when contact by MNN, the president of the Indian Muslim Restaurant Operators Association, Datuk Dawood Ali Maidin expressed the association’s appreciation to the Government. “This 1MakanFree scheme is good the rakyat and also benefit over 6,000 of our members. Our member restaurants are committed to providing the tarik, roti canai and telur setengah masak of the highest quality. I also hope that our university students will start more protests later this year asking for free roti telor, tosai and nescafe – at least people like us can get some more business”.
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