By Emma Victoria
THE speedy delivery of food aid to needy households during this critical time requires elected representatives to be on the ground monitoring the progress closely.
The job should not be left to contractors who may take a cut from essential items meant for the needy, Michael Kong the Special Assistant to the Sarawak DAP chairman said.
“It is already a handful for one Adun to handle one DUN area, to ensure that the food distribution to the poor at this time of pandemic will be carried out smoothly, quickly and widely,” Kong said in a statement.
But because the aid distribution in the state was structured in a way that one Adun may co-ordinate the relief efforts in more than one seat, delay may occur.
“It is no surprise that the food items for five state constituencies in Kuching took so long to reach the people during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“This is because Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian, who controls the funds for five state seats is self-quarantined at home during this critical time,” he said, adding that this would render the former ineffective in carrying out the food distribution job.
Kong said the whistleblower site, Sarawak Report had revealed that the Gabungan Parti Sarawak government had manipulated the aid-relief funds that favours representatives from the ruling coalition.
Each constituency is allocated RM200,000 for its needy households but Dr Sim has at his disposal RM1 million because he is overseeing five areas, Kong added. Besides his own seat of Batu Kawah, other seats under his watch are Padungan, Pending, Kota Sentosa and Batu Lintang – all held by the opposition.
“Publicly, the GPS ministers have been calling for all to work together to fight this Covid-19 pandemic Yet, secretly behind the back, they are withholding the fund to help the poor from the opposition state assemblymen.
“It is utter shame on the GPS who do not practice what they preach,” Kong added.
Such politicking will only result in the people’s suffering, such as delay of the food aid distribution process.
Kong urged the GPS state government to stop political discrimination and manipulating the state allocations for helping the poor during this pandemic.