By Adrian Lim
KUCHING, March 30: Approximately 800 points of sales (POS) located mainly in rural areas will be allowed to operate throughout the movement control order (MCO) period.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan said this is to ensure the rural community has access to essential and basic goods while the MCO is being enforced.
“The Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP) has about 800 POS mainly in the rural areas throughout Sarawak.
“We will ensure that every POS has enough supply of food and essential goods and they will be monitored from time to time.
“Grocery stores in the rural areas are allowed to operate from 7am to 4pm.
“Besides, all the appointed transporters who are shipping and delivering food and essential items to the communities in the rural areas will be allowed to drive through without being stopped by the police,” Awang Tengah who is the chair of the food supply chain sub-committee said during a press conference today.
Awang Tengah who is also Second Minister of Urban Development and Resources noted that as a result of MCO, some forms of transportation such as express boats have being temporarily halted.
He also noted that the situations in urban, and rural and remote areas are different. He called on KPDNHEP to ensure that there is sufficient food supplied to the 800 POS.
Awang Tengah who is Bukit Sari assemblyman stressed the need for efficiency and speed when it comes to the supply of food stocks and essential goods to rural communities especially those living in Lawas, Limbang, Baram, Bario and Belaga.
He said the state government will send the food stocks and essential items first to the main distribution centre, for instance, the service centre of elected representatives in the rural areas.
Subsequently, food stocks and essential items will be handed over to local community leaders in rural areas and they will decide how to distribute them to various villages and longhouses.
“At the moment, we are still finalising the main location and the quantity of food stocks and essential goods to be supplied to certain rural areas.
“Hopefully, within these two or three days, we will come up with a decision,” he said after chairing the food supply chain sub-committee meeting. — DayakDaily