Rice dumping: Former deputy Home Minister takes responsibility [NSTTV]

KUALA LUMPUR: Former Deputy Home Minister Ismail Mohamed Said has admitted to disposing of rice and other food items at a site in Temerloh, Pahang after images went viral.

In a statement, Ismail said the items were from a stockpile he had prepared for his constituents when he was the Kuala Krau MP, but that they were no longer fit for public consumption.

He said the food items were bought using personal funds.

"I take full responsibility for this disposal issue. The rice and food items were stock reserves that were always available to meet the public demand when I was the Kuala Krau MP.

"These food items were procured using personal funds before the 15th General Election in 2022, and it is widely known that during the campaign period, no distribution of goods to the public was allowed.

"The purchase of these items did not involve Federal Government or Pahang State Government allocations. It also did not involve allocations during the Covid-19 period or preparations for flood relief efforts," he said in a statement.

Ismail said on April 5, he received a complaint from a neighbour that there was a foul smell in the storage area of these food items.

"Upon investigation in this storage area, several rat carcasses were found, and the rice and kitchen items were contaminated with rice weevils.

"Other items were also no longer suitable for distribution to the public due to contamination.

"Some of the rice has been distributed to local poultry and duck farmers, while the remainder has been disposed of. I take full responsibility and deeply regret this matter, and I apologise to all parties for the oversight in monitoring the disposal of these food items," he said.

Meanwhile, Pahang Solid Waste and Public Cleansing Management Corporation (SWCorp) director Sharudin Hamid said early investigations revealed that the site was not gazetted as a garbage disposal site and they were investigating the case under the Solid Waste and Public Cleansing Management Act 2007.

Separately, Agriculture and Food Security Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Sabu has instructed the Temerloh Rice and Rice Supervision Office (KPB) to conduct an investigation.

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