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Don’t harm our rice bowl, IPR vendor appeals to vandals

People’s Income Initiative participant Amiruddin Ahmad Abdul Jalil said he can earn up to RM4,000 a month from his food vending machines. (Facebook pic)

PETALING JAYA: An entrepreneur involved in the People’s Income Initiative (IPR) programme is appealing to the public not to vandalise their vending machines following an incident which left a machine inoperable.

Referring to a recent incident at the Bukit Mertajam KTM station, Amiruddin Ahmad Abdul Jalil rued the fact that he woke up early in the morning to prepare food for sale, only to find out that it could not be sold as the machine was not working.

Having experienced a similar situation involving a vending machine he operates at KL Sentral last month, the 28-year-old factory worker hopes that the public can have more empathy.

“Please do not harm our rice bowl. Everyone is trying to earn a living, and we should respect that,” Amiruddin told FMT.

Amiruddin, who sells food such as fried rice, fried noodles, and kuih at his vending machines, said he can earn up to RM4,000 a month.

Last Monday, economy minister Rafizi Ramli criticised individuals who switched off the electrical supply to the IPR vending machine at the Bukit Mertajam KTM station, rendering it inoperative.

To prevent similar incidents from recurring, Amiruddin suggested that the machine’s switches be locked to prevent “itchy fingers” from switching off the machines’ electrical supply.

He also hoped that such machines can be equipped with a backup power supply in case of electrical disruptions.

Amiruddin said that even though each IPR participant is given an app to monitor the operation of their vending machines remotely, such tools would be useless unless the programme has wide support from the community.

“There needs to be cooperation from all parties. That includes buyers, vendors, and the owners of the premises. Everyone needs to play their role,” said Amiruddin, a Sabah native who is currently working in Puchong, Selangor.

Meanwhile, the Federation of Malaysian Consumers Associations (Fomca) suggested that the premises where these IPR vending machine are located be equipped with closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras to monitor any act of vandalism.

“This will make such people think twice before doing such things,” said Fomca treasurer Nur Asyikin Aminuddin.

The government launched the RM750 million IPR programme in March, and an estimated 150,000 people are expected to benefit from the initiatives to boost their income.

The IPR involves three initiatives – food entrepreneur initiative (Insan) scheme, agro entrepreneur initiative (Intan), and service operator initiative (Ikhsan). Insan, the programme Amiruddin is participating in, involves selling ready-made food through vending machines provided by the government.

It was previously reported that an estimated 150,000 people will benefit from IPR’s initiatives.