Press Statement by Violet Yong:
I urge the Sarawak Government to stop political meddling but be transparent and bipartisan in dealing with the State Food Aid during Movement Control Order (MCO).
As announced by the Sarawak Government, all the 82 state seats will be allocated RM200,000.00 each to purchase the food essentials for those worst hit by the MCO at the respective constituency.
Nonetheless, for State Constituencies in Kuching areas like Padungan N.9, Pending N.10, Batu Lintang N.11 and Kota Sentosa N.12 which are held under Democratic Action Party, the RM200,000.00 had never been channeled to the respective Service Centres and that all the distribution of food aid have to go through Sarawak Welfare Department and Resident Office thereby by passing the respective local state representatives unlike those areas which are held by GPS whereby GPS local state representatives have full control over the food aid.
It is disappointed to note that by creating this unnecessary bureaucracy red tape, it has caused the distribution of food aid on all these areas held by DAP to move at snail pace thereby resulting none of the names which DAP Kuching submitted on 31.3.2020 has yet to receive any food aid from the state.
We DAP Kuching had been informed by Sarawak Welfare Department and Resident Office that as at 13.4.2020, they have distributed 875 families for Padungan N.9, 738 families for Pending N.10, 3612 families for Batu Lintang N.11 and 1675 families for Kota Sentosa. However, when we asked for details concerning the areas and names of the recipients, both Sarawak Welfare Department and Resident Office refused to give despite our repetitious request. This is totally unacceptable and irresponsible.
Every elected representative has the right to know the details of the recipients in the area so that necessary and proper planning as well as adjustment can be made to ensure that all those poor and needy are taken care of and not missed out from the aid.
For example, in Pending area, so far only 738 families benefited from the food aid, I am duty bound to ask who are the actual recipients from this 738 families that had taken the food aid? How many more families who have yet to receive the aid? How is the funding of RM200,000.00 spent? How much does it cost for a set of food aid to be given for a household? What are the items that were included in the food aid? Sad to say, all DAP State Elected Representatives are kept in the dark concerning these information.
I am of the view that if there is nothing to hide and all distribution works are done in proper and transparent manner, there is no reason for Sarawak Government to deny the rights of DAP State Elected Representatives to know every details regarding the State Food Aid.
At this critical moment whereby all parties must stand united and fight against Covid-19, Sarawak Government must put a immediate stop in playing politics and to work closely with all the elected representatives from all political parties to ensure that the State Food Aid truly benefits those who desperately required assistance. Time is of the assense whereby all essential food items are to be distributed to those poor and needy without any further delay.