Press Statement by Chong Chieng Jen:
DAP Sarawak is all for working together with the government to battle against the covid-19 pandemic and to help the poor families to sustain during the Movement Control Order period.
Many members of the public have also contacted us for help. In the past 3 weeks, we have delivered food to more than 4,500 families, mostly with our own fund and public donations. But, at the same time, we were constrained by insufficient funding.
However, our wish to help the people were 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 food assistance fund allocated for each DUN area, we will be able to help more families with more food supply to them. Therefore, the discrimination by the GPS Government is not against us the ADUNs but is in fact discrimination against the people, especially those in need of food supply during this MCO period.
As a minister, Dr Sim is accountable to the public on how the State Government spent the State fund. There is nothing wrong to question him on how the food assistance fund allocation is spent especially when the circular issued by the Kementerian Kebajikan, Kesejahteraan Komuniti, Wanita, Keluarga dan Pembangunan Kanak-kanak specifically nominated him as the person to manage the use of the fund, not only for his constituency of Batu Kawa, but also for Padungan, Pending, Batu Lintang and Kota Sentosa.
Therefore, questions as to how the fund was spent, eg. How many families from each constituency has received the food assistance 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? These are all valid questions that any right-thinking citizens will ask.
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.
If the fund comes from one’s own earning or inheritance, it is up to him to spend in whatever way he wishes. But once it involves public fund, then accountability to the public is a fundamental requirement.
The threat of legal action will not stop the public from asking these valid questions to compel accountability in how public fund is spent. Any legal action attempting to shut out public criticism and deter the pursue of accountability will be strenuously contested.