Masing praises volunteers for braving difficult conditions to make food deliveries to rural residents

A tractor is seen clearing the muddy road for food delivery by 4WD vehicles in the Baleh constituency.

By Peter Sibon

KUCHING, April 13: Volunteers delivering food throughout Baleh constituency during the Movement Control Order (MCO) are shouldering a daunting task as they must face treacherous road conditions to reach some 200 longhouses, reveals Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing.

He added that the remaining longhouses could only be reached by longboats and take up to eight hours to travel to.

“These are some of our challenges in delivering food packages to the longhouses in Baleh constituency. There are no less than 200 longhouses in DUN (state constituency of) Baleh.

“In some instances it will take 3-4 hours using these treacherous timber tracks to reach these longhouses in the interior. Whatever it takes, the GPS (Gabungan Parti Sarawak) delivery boys have been doing it in the last few days — rain or shine they keep on,” he told DayakDaily today.

The Minister of Infrastructure and Port Development said he was grateful to the volunteers from his Baleh service centre for their efforts in helping those in need in the far-flung places of his constituency.

“The Baleh service centre is doing the organisation to ensure that every family is given (the food packages), almost day and night since the lockdown on March 18.

“Most are reachable by timber tracks. Those which can’t be reached by timber roads, our boys deliver them (packages) by longboats. Nothing can stop our boys from helping those in need,” he reiterated.

On a related issue, Masing rebutted allegations that the GPS government placed logos of their leaders on the packages of the food rations and that some of the canned food given out has expired.

“Our boys won’t have the time to check all the food items whether they are already expired or not. We place our trust in the honesty of the shopkeepers who have been appointed by the Resident’s Office,” he explained.

Masing also took a swipe at certain opposition leaders who seemed to only find fault with the GPS government rather than finding solutions.

“Herein lies the question whether they are merely criticising from their cosy air-con rooms rather than checking how food deliveries are done in the remote areas?” asked Masing.

Food finally reaches the hands of residents of a rural longhouse.

Meanwhile, Masing expressed hope the World Health Organisation (WHO) could provide some guidelines on suitable food that may be consumed to increase antibodies to fight Covid-19.

“Testing Covid-19 is 50 per cent of the job done as long as the vaccine is not found. What WHO should also focus on, along with looking for the correct vaccine, is to find the suitable natural food stuff to give us the correct antibodies to fight the coronavirus. If we ‘arm’ our bodies with the correct antibodies, our bodies’ immune system will do the job which they have been doing since human beings came into existence eons ago.

“So, WHO should tell the world what types of food we should consume in order to equip our immune system,” he added. — DayakDaily