PKR Sarawak calls for authorities’ transparency, accountability in channeling food aid

Cherishe Ng

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KUCHING, July 6: Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Sarawak has called for transparency and accountability of the authorities in carrying out the Food Aid programme amidst the white flag movement.

Its State Wanita Secretary Cherishe Ng said the Movement Control Order (MCO) currently taking place nationwide has been seen as a source of distress for the people and therefore, the authorities must ensure a fair distribution of the government’s aid in spite of inequality in fund allocation amongst constituencies.

Ng made the appeal following feedback from the public for not receiving any food aid packages from the authorities despite the Food Aid allocations at the State and Federal levels.

“The Sarawak government has announced on May 28, 2021 a State-wide Food Aid Programme for the public in need through funneling of funds of RM250,000 for each constituency via governmental agencies to undertake the task of food procurement, identification of eligible beneficiaries and delivery of food aid into the hands of recipients.

“However, for constituencies with dense populations in the city area such as Kuching, it would have significantly less allocations per person,” she said in a statement today.

Ng further cited the case of the Batu Lintang constituency, which has over 30,000 voters in an area spanning from Sky Garden all the way to Tabuan Laru and argued that RM250,000 in allocations was not enough.

She also noted that the Federal government has unveiled a similar Food Aid budget allocation just a few days ago whereby Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had announced an allocation of RM300,000 for each Member of Parliament (MP) irrespective of their political affiliations to get food aid for the poor in their constituencies.

“Both the State and federal’s relief initiatives are seen as timely and plausible in this particular juncture of the white flag movement showing that they (the governments) have been listening, understanding that the people are having a hard time with trying to put food on their table.

“However, with the RM300,000 allocation in hand, all the MPs, including opposition, should be transparent in what they are going to do with the money, what they purchase, where they purchase from, how is the selection criteria, how they attempt to filter out these people and so on,” she stressed.

Ng further urged the authorities to explain how the money has been fairly channeled to the people in need while adding that she “can attest that many people have complained of not receiving anything so far, in fact, many have complained that they don’t even know who to approach in order to apply for the food baskets.” — DayakDaily