KUCHING, Feb 25: Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) should cast aside their political interest when it comes to the welfare and benefits of the people.
Deputy Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Chong Chieng Jen said this with reference to the updating of information and registration for the Bantuan Sara Hidup (BSH).
“In the past few days, district offices turned away rural folks who went there to update information and register for the BSH programme,” Chong claimed in a statement today.
“District offices and Resident offices are set up supposedly to help the people. This is especially so in rural areas. Yet, when it comes to updating information and registration, they are not helping. Such a process will just require a few clicks on the computer keyboard and filling in some simple forms, but the rural folks were turned away by the district office staff.”
Chong, who is also state Pakatan Harapan (PH) chief, noted that two state ministers had rebutted his allegation, but he said their statements remained steadfast that district offices and Resident Offices would not be helping the people to do the updating of information and registration for BSH.
“I do not fault the officers. They are under the instruction of the state government not to participate in any federal government activities that were not approved by the state government. Such a directive was issued by the State Secretary sometime last year, and the prohibition also applies to all community leaders.
“Therefore, the fault lies with the GPS government, who has put their political interest over and above the people’s interest,” he said.
Chong opined that following the change of the federal government, GPS was now fearful of losing their power.
“Once anyone is registered under the BSH program, he/she will continue to receive many welfare and/or subsidy benefits initiated by the federal government, if he/she is qualified.
“Thus, the registration will give the rural folks access to not only the subsidies and benefits but also information from the federal government. This is the way to keep the rural folks abreast with the national development programmes and stop the patronage politics that has been practised by the BN (Barisan Nasional), and now the GPS, on the rural folks all these years. This is exactly what the GPS is most afraid of,” he said.
On Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas’s statement, Chong said if Uggah was sincere about helping to uplift the rural people and keeping the rural people in the mainstream of national development, then he should get the state agencies to register the rural folks into the national systems through the BSH programme.
“However, if Uggah and the GPS are unwilling to do that, PH will deploy whatever resources available to us,” he assured. — DayakDaily