Dr Sim vs Chong: Former Padungan rep testifies food aid distribution during MCO in constituency ‘fast, effective’

The court complex in Kuching.

By Dorcas Ting

KUCHING, March 22: Former assemblyman for N9 Padungan, Wong King Wei testified in the High Court here that to his personal knowledge, the distribution of food aid in his constituency in response to the Movement Control Order (MCO) imposed due to the Covid-19 outbreak, was fast and effective.

Wong, 43, was called as the sixth witness in the defamation suit filed by Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) president Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian against Sarawak Democratic Action Party (DAP) chairman Chong Chieng Jen over the latter’s alleged defamatory statement concerning the allocation of funds for food assistance amidst the Covid-19 crisis.

During the cross-examination conducted by defence counsel Michael Kong, Wong said, even upon the distribution of the food aid, the minister-in-charge of welfare, Dato Seri Fatimah Abdullah had personally called him on the phone early one morning to ask whether there were any more persons in need of food aid in his constituency because the District Disaster Management Committee (DDMC) and the ministry would like to ensure that all those in need are well taken care of.

He further told the Court that the minister requested him to get more names for the purpose of food aid distribution.

Wong said the distribution process was fast and effective, taking place even before people on the ground called to follow up on the distribution of the food aid, and they had already received it. However, he could not recall the exact time when it was fully distributed, but said it definitely took place within a week or half-a-week after April 3, 2020.

When asked if Fatimah ever invited him to be part of DDMC, Wong said she did not invite him to be part of the DDMC but invited him to participate in contributing to the distribution of food aid in his constituency by giving her the name list of prospective food aid recipients which was also to ensure that the food aid was distributed well and to the hands of those in need.

In relation to the RM200,000 food aid for the constituency, he said he had no knowledge as to when the food aid distributed in Padungan constituency has fully exhausted the RM200,000 allocated as the sum was not given to his service centre. All the purchases and distribution had gone through DDMC. — DayakDaily