By Emma Victoria
ALTHOUGH the Sarawak state government has denied discriminating against opposition areas in giving out food aid, Sarawak DAP is perplexed why it took 20 days for essential items to reach the needy.
Its state chairman Chong Chieng Jen said not only was there a delay, but the needy in four opposition constituencies – Padungan, Pending, Kota Sentosa and Batu Lintang – received little aid, despite being the most populated areas in the state.
“Only 100 food packs have been distributed on Sunday. Will there be more? When can the rest of the needy families there expect to receive the aid?
“Is this merely inefficiency of the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government or due to some sort of politicking and discrimination element against the areas held by the opposition?” he asked in a statement.
The Stampin MP said DAP managed to get the approval from police to distribute food aid to the people and started sending out goods despite its limited resources and manpower.
He said it was unacceptable for the welfare department to take up to three weeks to deliver aid.
Furthermore, the federal and state welfare departments have the record of the low income families registered under the Bantuan Sara Hidup (BSH) and the assistance from various agencies and RELA to distribute the food items.
Chong also questioned why opposition lawmakers were barred from managing the RM200,000 allocated for each constituency in Sarawak.
“We are still deprived from the RM200,000 to help the poor families in our respective areas during this crisis.”
Chong, who is also Kota Sentosa assemblyman, urged the GPS to stop playing politics of discriminating the opposition assemblymen and poor people residing in these areas during this crisis.
“We too want to put aside political differences and try to do our best to help and work with the government.
“We donated medical equipment and personal protective equipment for the hospital frontliners and we helped the welfare department by collecting names and details of people who need food aid.
“But, GPS is the one who is still politicking at this critical time,” he added.
Chong said that for those who were yet to receive aid from the welfare department, his leaders and members will be sending food aid to them within two days.