By Adrian Lim
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 18: Baram MP Anyi Ngau has called on government officials who are responsible for the distribution of financial aid, the Bantuan Prihatin Nasional (BPN), to ‘turun padang’ (go to the ground) and hand over the aid to the recipients.
Anyi gathered that many residents in the rural areas especially in Baram faced challenges in receiving the financial aid announced by the federal government.
Those include the B40 and M40 income groups in Baram who had to travel a long distance to Miri city to claim the financial aid provided by the federal government.
“The Prihatin assistance has assisted those in the B40 and M40 income groups to put the food on the table especially during the current situation of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Nonetheless, in the process of the implementation, the grouses which were obtained from the rural people are that the modus operandi which were used to channel the assistance to them were not suitable.
“This is because when they want to claim the Prihatin assistance, they have to travel a long distance such as from Baram to Miri.
“Hence, the exact value of the monetary aid received was not the same as the one being announced,” he said during the debate of Budget 2021 at Parliament today.
Anyi noted the distribution of financial aid by the federal government could be done the same way as the Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia (BR1M) whereby government officials from the divisional offices, bank officers together with the police handed over the financial aid to villages and longhouses in the rural areas in Sarawak.
He asserted that the approach will facilitate the villages in the rural areas to receive the financial aid announced by the federal government.
As the federal government upholds the principle of caring for the people, thus, Anyi said the federal government should practice what has been preached.
He also sought the federal government’s assistance to disclose the numbers of the B40 and M40 income groups who have been left out and in the process of appeal for Prihatin.
On another note, Anyi requested the federal government to expedite the construction and upgrading of rural roads in Baram from the development funds under the Rural Development Ministry.
He appealed to the federal government to upgrade the 59 kilometre road from Pekan Lapok to Long Ayak in the Baram constituency.
Anyi pointed out that the road is a main connectivity infrastructure for the Baram people.
Anyi said the upgrading of timber roads in Baram announced by the former Barisan Nasional (BN) government was yet to be implemented until now whilst Covid-19 has stamped its mark in the country.
On another note, he sought an explanation from the Health Ministry on the status of the health clinic at Long Lama which was affected by a landslide this year.
He disclosed that the current healthcare services in Long Lama were being provided at the Long Lama community hall.
Apart from that, Anyi also sought information from the Health Ministry on the progress of the Long San health clinic development project during his debate of the national budget at Dewan Rakyat. —DayakDaily