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By Nur Ashikin Louis
KUCHING, June 28: Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar hopes the implementation of the Food Basket Assistance will allow flexibility with no ‘central contract’ attached.
The Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Minister was referring to the federal government’s initiative of allocating RM300,000 to each Member of Parliament (MP), including Opposition MPs, to carry out Food Basket Assistance to affected groups in their respective constituencies.
“I welcome the federal government’s action in approving this allocation because it can help MPs implement the ‘food on the table’ programme for their respective areas.
“Those who are truly affected are those coming from the B40 group, be it rural or urban. Therefore, I hope focus would be given to the rural and suburban villages that have been severely affected,” he said in a statement today.
The Santubong MP pointed out that while he does not know the mechanism of the food basket programme, he hopes MPs will be given the flexibility in terms of its implementation especially in Sarawak and states that have poor connectivity.
“The best is through the Member of Parliament Service Center.
“So far, the method of food basket distribution has not been informed yet. However, I hope the supply would not be done through central contract because this will only complicate the delivery of the food basket assistance,” he added.
Wan Junaidi explained that if the programme is done through central contract, the government agencies in Kuala Lumpur would be tasked in managing the food supply.
“My concern is that Kuala Lumpur would appoint contractor or supplier to distribute the food baskets. This method was used in the first Movement Control Order (MCO 1.0) and in the end, the food basket may or may not reach the recipients.
“That is why I hope this time, the government would channel the allocation to the MPs directly to facilitate the food basket distribution process later.
“There is nothing to worry. We will do the report including producing receipts food items purchased. In fact, this mechanism is better because we indirectly help the local suppliers in our respective areas,” said Wan Junaidi.
Earlier, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has announced an allocation of RM300,000 to every MP including those from the Opposition to allow Food Basket Assistance under Pemulih to be carried in each Parliamentary constituency.
An additional RM10 million has also been allocated especially for the programme to be reaching the Orang Asli community.
The Assistance is one of the initiatives under the People’s Protection and Economic Recovery Package (Pemulih) stimulus package worth RM150 billion. — DayakDaily