Tiong: Address shortage, expensive subsidised goods in rural areas

Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing

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KUCHING, Nov 16: Bintulu MP Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing has pressured the relevant authorities to address the shortage of subsidised goods in several rural areas in Sarawak.

The Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) president said he had raised the issue of undelivered subsidised goods including cooking gas, diesel and petrol not reaching those that needed them urgently.

This despite endless complaints from Sarawak’s distant rural communities, he added.

“Not only are the goods not reaching the affected rural areas, the prices of those subsidised goods are often similar to those in the urban areas.

“This did not happen in the previous government and the affected poor community are having to wait long weeks for their supplies and pay through the nose for them,” he said in a press statement yesterday.

Tiong said that if the ministers and officials of the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP) wish to refute or challenge his claims, he will personally bring them to the affected townships to see the actual situation for themselves.

He said the deputy minister should be the one who comes along, in reference to Bandar Kuching MP Chong Chieng Jen.

The officers responsible for the failed delivery must resign from their positions or be removed, he added.

Tiong claimed that some documents have shown excessive amounts of white sugar delivered to places that are not even large enough to warrant receiving such huge amounts.

“Sugar is a controlled item and among the items that are subsidised and yet, there is reason to suspect that their supply have been unfairly and incorrectly allocated and the contractors responsible must be held accountable for these errors,” he said.

Tiong claimed to have received numerous reports of rural areas and longhouses facing shortages of essential goods and subsidised item.

“It is extremely telling that before my turn to debate in Parliament, there are dire shortages of the subsidised goods. However, as soon as my service centre staff investigate, the goods have miraculously appeared as this question arise in Parliament,” he alleged.

Tiong asked whether the relevant authorities are worried that the Malaysaian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) might come around to check these shortages. He also questioned why the MACC does not investigate this matter earlier.

“The officials of the KPDNHEP should not ask me to pinpoint the affected areas, as it is their responsibilities to go to the ground and find out where the shortages are occurring and ensure that the supplies have indeed reached the people in need.

“KPDNHEP should not just perform superficial investigations that do not show the actual situation,” he said. — DayakDaily.