Food Politics and the Paradigm Shift in the Parliamentary Debate on Food Security


  • Mohd Zulhelmi Syafuddin Tan
  • Ahmad Naqiyuddin Bakar
  • Yarina Ahmad
  • Quratul Ain Abdul Razak
  • Izzat Azri Ahmad Kharul Anuar



food politic, food security, agriculture, United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)


Food security has become a pertinent issue that is constantly being discussed in the mass media and even in parliamentary debates among the politicians. The topic of food security is political; hence, it should be handled with care within a confined aspect known as food politics.  This paper is a preliminary stage study to examine which facets of food security that were most prominently debated among the members of the House of Representatives and whether the discussions were in line with and accurately portrayed the actual situation on the ground among the public. Hansards from the Parliament of Malaysia seatings in 2019 and 2022 were obtained as secondary data for analysis. The finding showed that the question of food availability was frequently mentioned in parliamentary debates as availability was the precursor to the other dimensions of food security. Additionally, food security issues raised by our politicians correspond with current major global issues that are affecting the public; collectively known as the 3C-shock: COVID-19, Climate Change and Conflict (Russia-Ukraine War).



Download data is not yet available.


“Arab Spring.” (Encyclopædia Britannica) <> accessed 14 February 2023.

Abbade, Eduardo Botti. “Availability, Access and Utilization: Identifying the Main Fragilities for Promoting Food Security in developing Countries. (World Journal of Science, Technology and Sustainable Development. Emerald Publishing Limited, October 2, 2017).<> accessed 9 December 2022.

Abdullah, Jafri Malin, Wan Faisham Nu’man Wan Ismail, Irfan Mohamad, Asrenee Ab Razak, Azian Harun, Kamarul Imran Musa, and Yeh Lee Yeong. “A Critical Appraisal of Covid-19 in Malaysia and Beyond.” (The Malaysian Journal of Medical Sciences: MJMS. U.S. National Library of Medicine, April 10, 2020).<> accessed 10 October 2022.

Ali, Ghulam Sarver Mobarak. “Pandangan Bernas Dr Hasan Mohd Ali Tentang Pertanian 22 Tahun Lalu.” accessed 19 November 2022.

BERNAMA. “Tiada Lagi AP Untuk Import Bahan Makanan.” (MalaysiaKini, May 18, 2022).<> accessed 13 November 2022.

Cappelli, Alessio, and Enrico Cini. “Will the COVID-19 Pandemic Make Us Reconsider the Relevance of Short Food Supply Chains and Local Productions?” (Trends in Food Science & Technology). March 31, 2020.<> accessed 8 October 2022.

Carolan, Michael. Embodied Food Politics. 1st ed. London, England: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, 2016.

Chin, Chiew. “The Impact of Food Supply Chain Disruptions amidst Covid-19 in Malaysia.” )(Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development 9, no. 4)(August 19, 2020): 1–3. accessed 8 October 2022.

Clapp, Jennifer, and William G. Moseley. “This Food Crisis Is Different: Covid-19 and the Fragility of the Neoliberal Food Security Order.” The Journal of Peasant Studies 47, no. 7 (October 11, 2020): 1393–1417.<> accessed 8 October 2022.

Dace, Hermione, Brianna Miller, and Jess Lythgow. “Why Politicians Should Be Talking about Food.” Institute for Global Change. Tony Blair, March 29, 2022.<> accessed 1 October 2022.

Flannery, Ezekiel, and Diana Mincyte. “Cultural Studies ↔ Critical Methodologies 10, no. 6” (June 17, 2010: 423–27).> accessed 10 October 2022.

Gillespie, Stuart, Mara van den Bold, and Judith Hodge. “Nutrition and the Governance of Agri-Food Systems in South Asia: A Systematic Review.” (Food Policy 82, no. Special Issue: Leveraging Agriculture for Nutrition in South Asia 2019): 13–27.> accessed 9 December 2022.

Hunter, Murray. “Malaysia’s Looming Food Crisis.” Free Malaysia Today (FMT). Letter to the Editor, February 28, 2022.< /2022/02/28/malaysias-looming-food-crisis/> accessed 11 November 2022.

Josua, Maria, and Mirjam Edel. “The Arab Uprisings and the Return of Repression.” Mediterranean Politics 26, no. 5 (2021): 586–611. < .2021.1889298> accessed 11 November 2022.

Lavin, Chad. “Eating Anxiety: The Perils of Food Politics on JSTOR.” University of Minnesota Press (2013).<> accessed 29 September 2022.

Leach, Melissa, Nicholas Nisbett, Lídia Cabral, Jody Harris, Naomi Hossain, and John Thompson. “Food Politics and Development.”World Development 134 (October 2020): (Article-105024).<> accessed 29 Oktober 2022.

Meisenzahl, Mary. “More Global McDonald’s Customers Are Facing French Fry Shortages as the Supply Chain Continues to Face Strain.” Business Insider. Home I Retail, February 5, 2022.<> accessed 1 November 2022.

Nchanji, Eileen Bogweh, and Cosmas Kweyu Lutomia. “Sustainability of the Agri-Food Supply Chain amidst the Pandemic: Diversification, Local Input Production, and Consumer Behavior.” Advances in Food Security and Sustainability 6 (October 28, 2021): 211–29.<> accessed 23 November 2022.

Nestle, Marion. “Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition ... - Jstor Home.” Edited by Michelle Pollan.<> accessed 26 November 2022.

Online, The Star. “Food Security Critical for Peace, Says Hishammuddin.” The Star. Nation, June 12, 2022.<> accessed 19 November 2022.

Phillipov, Michelle. “The New Politics of Food: Television and the Media / Food Industries.” Media International Australia 158, no. 1 (2016): 90–98. < 1329878x15627339> accessed 10 October 2022

Rengarajoo, Sharmilla, and Seok Tyug Tan. “Household Income and Its Correlation with Child Hunger During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Cross-Sectional Study.” Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition, Taylor & Francis Online, December 13, 2022.> accessed 8 November 2022.

Shafiullah, Muhammad, Usman Khalid, and Sajid Mukhtar Chaudhry. “Do Stock Markets Play a Role in Determining the COVID-19 Economic Stimulus? A Cross-Country Analysis.” SSRN Electronic Journal, July 7, 2020, 1393–1417.<> accessed 31 August 2022.

Shahrudin, A. A. A., (2020). Protecting the Agriculture Sector During the Covid-19 Crisis. Khazanah Research Institute.< Agriculture_Sector_During_the_Covid-19_Crisis.aspx> accessed on December 20 2022.

Shamsudin, Nasir. “Food Security 2021 and Beyond.” New Straits Times. Columnist, January 3, 2021. -beyond> accessed8 November 2022.

Syafuddin Tan, M. Z., Bakar, A. N., & Ahmad, Y. (2021). A systematic review on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the food security in Malaysia. e-Proceeding 8th International Conference on Public Policies and Social Studies. UiTM, Shah Alam. pp. 437 - 442

Syafuddin Tan, M. Z., Bakar, A. N., & Ahmad, Y. (2022). A conceptual study on the actors of the food security sustainability in Malaysia. e-Proceeding 1st International Conference on Public Policies and Social Studies Student Edition. UiTM, Shah Alam. pp. 131 - 139

The Star. “King: Food Security Crisis Needs to Be Addressed Immediately.” The Star Online. June 6, 2022.<> accessed 19 November 2022.

Vaghefi , Negin. “The Heavy Impact of Covid-19 on the Agriculture Sector and the Food Supply Chain.” (Penang Institute. Senior Analyst, December 3, 2021).<> accessed 10 October 2022.

Verghis, Sharuna, Xavier Pereira, Anesha Gnana Kumar, Ashley Koh, and Asha Singh-Lim. “COVID-19 and Refugees in Malaysia: An NGO Response.” Journal of Mental Health & Psychosocial Support in Conflict Affected Areas 19, no. 1 (March 31, 2021): 15–20. <> accessed 4 November 2022.

Wahab, Andika. “The Outbreak of Covid-19 in Malaysia: Pushing Migrant Workers at the Margin.” Social Sciences & Humanities Open. Elsevier, October 24, 2020.<> accessed 2 November 2022.