Undistributed and undervalued food aid: Who is to blame?


Zulkifli Abdul Awang

ALMOST on a daily basis, we have been reading about how certain groups of people have not been receiving the food aid promised during the MCO period.

In the most recent incident, it was discovered that food packs for the needy in Cheras, Kuala Lumpur were left undistributed and were still in storage.

According to reports, the food packs remained at the Bandar Tun Razak Sports Complex in Cheras but the MP for the area has yet to receive the green light for distribution.

Why? Is this because the MP for Cheras, Tan Kok Wai is from an Opposition party?

Seriously, do these things matter at a time when people are starving?

I recall Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rina Harun, saying that no parties were being discriminated against during the distribution of food aid during the MCO period.

If that is the case, then what is this all about? Is she pretending she has no knowledge of what is going on?

Another issue which I came across was an incident in Rasah, Seremban where food packs worth RM100 each were to be distributed to the poor.

A 5kg rice packet, one kg cooking oil, a packet of rice vermicelli, a packet of biscuits, tea, sugar and instant coffee.

I was shocked to read that upon inspecting the food packs it was discovered that each pack was only worth RM35.

So where did the balance RM65 per pack go to?

These 1,000 food packs were for the B40 lower income group during the MCO.

According to the government the allocations were already there, but yet we are faced with these issues.

Don’t you know stealing is a crime, but stealing from the poor is unforgivable.

From what I was told, there were only seven items in the packĀ  a 5kg rice packet, one kg cooking oil, a packet of rice vermicelli, a packet of biscuits, tea, sugar and instant coffee.

How long can that last for a family of five?

According to the Seremban Social Welfare Department, the devalued packets were what they received from the higher ups.

The Social Welfare Department is the government agency under the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development.

Apparently, there were supposed to be 10 items in the food packs: 10kg of rice, 5kg of cooking oil, 2kg of sugar, 2kg of wheat flour, one can of sardine, two cans of condensed milk, and one packet each of biscuits, bihun and tea/coffee.

Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh had claimed that at least 54 opposition parliamentary constituencies had yet to receive the food aid allocation for their respective constituencies.

Yeoh, who previously served as women, family and community development deputy minister, claimed that her Segambut constituency received just 250 packs of this aid.

It was reported that the only opposition-held constituency to receive its full quota of 1,000 food packs was Langkawi, which is represented by former prime minister tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Well, I just hope those responsible for this terrible crime will be able to answer to whichever God he or she prays to when the time comes.

Zulkifli Abdul Awang is a reader from Seremban, Negeri Sembilan. The views here do not necessarily reflect those of this portal.