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Thursday, 12 July 2018 | MYT 4:38 PM

Excess supermarket food to go to needy in proposed 'zero waste' pilot project

PUTRAJAYA: A pilot project for zero waste of food stuff is set to be launched this year, said Datuk Saifuddin Nasution Ismail. 

The Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP) Minister said a policy is being drawn up for excess food stuff from hypermarkets and supermarkets to be distributed to the needy, instead of being dumped into the landfill. 

“In the drawing up of this policy, (we) are getting examples of its implementation. 

"At the forefront of it is the United States, France and our neighbouring country Singapore,” he said at the ministry’s monthly gathering on Thursday (July 12). 

He added that he has implemented such a policy before by setting up the Mutiara Food Bank in Penang last year when he was strategic advisor to then Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng. 

“The zero waste policy can also be interpreted to mean, in the context of governance, that every sen that we subsidise (for food) to consumers will indeed be passed on to them,” he said, adding that there should not be any “leakages” of such subsidies. 

Meanwhile, Saifuddin said there have been reports that 30% of Indian-Muslim restaurants have not reduced their prices despite the zero-rated Goods and Services Tax and his ministry has been urged to step up its enforcement efforts.

He said however the ministry’s enforcement efforts should not be measured by its collection of fines, as the enforcement officers want to educate such offenders by giving them warnings first. 

KPDNHEP deputy minister Chong Chieng Jen and secretary-general Datuk Seri Jamil Salleh were also present at the monthly gathering.