By Karen Bong
KUCHING, Feb 23: Sarawak Pakatan Harapan (PH) chairman Chong Chieng Jen claimed that there was serious sabotaging by the state government’s agencies towards the federal government’s efforts to help the people of Sarawak, especially those in the lower income group.
He alleged that state district offices (DOs), which is a government agency under the state government, have refused to facilitate the registration of Bantuan Sara Hidup (BSH) 2019 cash aid programme offered by the PH federal government.
Among the DOs he claimed to have refused to assist Sarawak applicants register and update their information included Bau, Serian and Simanggang.
“For instance, those who went to Bau DO have been directed to (Mas Gading MP) Mordi (Bimol)’s office. It is sad that the DOs under the instruction of the state government refused to help,” he told reporters after chairing the PH Sarawak meeting at the Democratic Action party (DAP) headquarters here today.
“Other than the state government, no one can give instructions to the DOs. If it is not the instruction of the state government, why would they refuse to assist? I don’t think the DOs will act upon themselves not to do it. Surely, there are some instructions, but clearly it is not from us,” he added.
He lambasted the state government for putting its political interests over and above the people’s interests.
“It is terrible but our team has been going around almost everyday and our office is open to help with the registration and updating of BSH,” he said.
Hence, Chong, who is also Deputy Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs, pointed out that it was all the more important for the component parties of the PH ruling government to step up and try their best to reach out to the people as well as to bridge the people of Sarawak with the federal government.
He emphasised that the registration process was crucial to build a comprehensive database that would help the federal government in rolling out their welfare programmes which will genuinely reach target groups including the B40 and M40.
“We don’t want what happened during BN (Barisan Nasional) times in which those who did not deserve them – like people driving new Mercedes – also went to get subsidies like BR1M. That’s not right,” he said.
“All (information) will be integrated once we have the database proper and this will also reduce leakages and other unwarranted activities like smuggling,” he added. — DayakDaily