By Emma Victoria
DATUK Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian’s decision to take legal action against Sarawak DAP leaders will not stop the public from seeking the truth on how the allocation for Covid-19 food aid was spent in four opposition seats.
Sarawak DAP Chairman Chong Chieng Jen said if the fund comes from one’s own earnings or inheritance, it is up to him to spend it whatever way he wishes.
However, if it involves public funds, then accountability to the public is a fundamental requirement.
“The threat of legal action will not stop the public from asking valid questions to compel accountability on how the public funds are spent.
“Any legal action attempting to shut out public criticism and deter the pursue of accountability will be strenuously contested,” he said in a statement.
If a person cannot take questioning and do not wish to be held accountable for the government allocation under his charge, then he should re-think holding public office, Chong added.
He was responding to Dr Sim’s decision to take legal action against DAP leaders over defamatory remarks on the allocation of food aid for the poor families in Kuching.
He said Dr Sim, who is the Local Government and Housing Minister must be accountable to the public on how the money was spent.
The Kota Sentosa Adun opined that there is nothing wrong to question Dr Sim since an official memo had named the minister as the person managing the funds not only for his own constituency of Batu Kawa, but also for Padungan, Pending, Batu Lintang and Kota Sentosa.
“Questions such as how many families from each constituency benefited from the fund? Who are they? How much was allocated per family? Why were the Opposition Aduns deprived of the rights to manage such fund? – are all valid questions that any right-thinking citizens will ask,” he said.
DAP, he said, had delivered food aid to over 4,500 families in the past three weeks and they are now constrained by insufficient funding.
“We are all for working together with the government to battle against the Covid 19 and wanted to help the poor families to sustain during the Movement Control Order period.
“But, our wish to reach out more low income community has been curtailed by the lack of funding. If the state government can be fairer and allows us to apply for the use of the RM200,000 allocated for each state seats, we are able to help more families,” he said.
“Therefore, the discrimination by the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) Ggvernment is not against us (opposition assemblymen) but is in fact discrimination against the people, especially those in need of food supply during this MCO period.”