Over RM3mln spent to help pandemic-hit residents so far

Fatimah (right) showing the items to be distributed to Kampung Haji Baki residents as (from third left) Dr Cheong, Lee, Norhayati and others look on.

KUCHING: The Social Welfare Department has spent RM3,116,442.27 as of March 18 to assist communities affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Children Development Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah said the assistance in the form of packed food, dry goods, electrical appliances and toiletries were distributed to families, including those in quarantine centres.

“From the total figure, RM347,119.70 was used to purchase essential goods for residents of Kampung Haji Baki, which is currently under the enhanced movement control order (EMCO) from Oct 29 until Nov 11,” she said at a press conference at the Sarawak Social Welfare Department’s Kuching office on Tuesday (Nov 3).

She added that packed food was also distributed to the frontliners on duty.

“Besides the assistance from the department, there were also contributions from non-governmental organisations (NGO) and personal donations to help the people at Kampung Haji Baki.”

Among the agencies involved in the distribution of items were the Malaysian Armed Forces (ATM), People’s Volunteer Corps (Rela), Civil Defence Force (APM), Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) and Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM).

“Covid-19 has brought out the best in people…we see strangers coming forward to donate and help those in need out of kindness,” – thanking everyone for their effort and generosity. 

“There is also good cooperation between Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC), the respective Resident’s Office and agencies, easing food distribution.”

Meanwhile, Kuching Resident special administrative officer Dr Cheong Yaw Keong Liang said essential items were distributed to 3,264 Kampung Haji Baki folk.

“Initially, our data showed that there were 4,000 people in Kampung Haji Baki, but after going from house to house, we managed to find out the actual figure. This is due to the fact that some of the people had moved out from the area.”

He also said compared to the situation in the Peninsular, there was no need to set up barb wire barricades to enforce the EMCO here.

“Our people are very disciplined and they comply with the law, they understand the situation and are very cooperative with the government agencies.”

Also present were Sarawak Social Welfare Department Kuching Division officer Norhayati Abdul Rahman, and a member of the public who helped raise funds for Kampung Haji Baki, Datin Shen-tel Lee.