Sibu Resident denies people are starving, says food aid continuing

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By S. Harrish

THE Sibu Divisional Disaster Management Committee (SDDMC) has clarified a report claiming that thousands in Sibu were in need of food aid and are on the brink of starvation due to MCO.

SDDMC chairman Charles Siaw made the clarification after the report said the people were in need of food aid after having lost their jobs or income following the closure of their work sectors due to the MCO.

The article quoted Sarawak Dayak National Union (SDNU) Sibu branch president Chambai Lindong saying that those affected were from rural areas working as general labourers, cooks and helpers at coffee shops, restaurants and bistros, helpers at hair salons, electricians and welders, lorry drivers and attendants, shop assistants, security guards and cleaners.

According to a Borneo Post report, Siaw, who is also Sibu Resident, explained that from the 1,350 households in the list sent by SDNU, 710 had already received the food aid, leaving a balance of 640 households.

In this regard, he requested SDNU to consider assisting them with the food distribution to the remaining 640 households.

“There is no such thing. They jumped to conclusions as they interpreted from his (Chambai’s) statement. He didn’t say that they are starving. If you look at his statement – there is no mention of starvation,” Siaw said.

Meanwhile, Chambai explained that SDNU needed to make the clarification since the press statement he issued on behalf of the organisation had been ‘sensationalised’.

Chambai further clarified that SDDMC had worked tirelessly including weekends since the implementation of the MCO to sort out all requests for food in Sibu and to arrange for distribution in many areas.