Rafizi defends statement Malaysians 'addicted' to eating out
KUALA LUMPUR - Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli defends his previous statement about Malaysians' growing habits of eating out, stating that it is based on recorded data.
He said the data was collected over a 20-year period through household expenditure surveys.
"The government has comprehensive data collected every two years through household expenditure surveys.
“Through this data, we can see that income spent on eating out, whether it's takeout or dining in restaurants or food stalls, has been increasing in recent years. This isn't about me making up stories; it's based on data," he said.
Earlier, Rafizi stirred up controversy by suggesting that Malaysians' addiction to eating out led to a significant portion of their monthly income being spent on this habit.
He also added that this unhealthy practice contributed to income shrinkage and increased sensitivity to sudden food price inflation, even when core inflation had decreased.
Rafizi's statement sparked controversy with some individuals, including former health minister and former Umno youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar, who has also criticised it.
Khairy said Rafizi's action to address the issue of Malaysians' eating out habits, which impact their monthly income, should not have been undertaken, as it is akin to poking a beehive.
Commenting further, the Pandan MP said the main challenge to reducing inflation lies in the culture of dining out, which has become a significant component of month-to-month inflation.
"The only household expenditure that is the most resilient and difficult to reduce is actually food cooked and brought home," he expressed.