By Nur Shazreena Ali & Nur Ashikin Louis
KUCHING: Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah has rubbished allegations from Sarawak DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen, who claimed that the Sarawak government was playing politics with the public’s hunger.
Fatimah reiterated that the strategies and approaches taken by the committee in ensuring that essential food supply provided by the state government to the needy, had achieved its objective.
She explained that the food aid was managed centrally by the Divisional/District Disaster Committee (DDC) comprising the Residents, District Officers, Sarawak Welfare Department and other related government agencies, the ADUN/MP Service Centres, and the relevant non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
“All fundings are channelled to and managed by the DDC. From there, DDC will make all payments to the relevant food suppliers for the purchase of food.
“Additionally, the list of recipients, food items, purchases, and distribution of food supply, are coordinated by the DDC through collaboration with the ADUN/MP Service Centres; other government agencies such as the Sarawak Welfare Department, the Malaysian Armed Forces (ATM), Royal Malaysian Air Force (TUDM), People’s Volunteer Corps (Rela) and the relevant NGOs,” she said.
She also mentioned that all name lists from the various sources — government agencies such as the Local Authorities, Sarawak Welfare Department, the ADUN/MP Service Centres, and any other individuals —were submitted to the committee, for central coordination and verification.
“As of today, all 82 constituencies have started delivery of food essentials. Daily monitoring is being done by the Sub-Committee, to ensure that challenges and problems faced by each DDC, in terms of the supply of food items, transportation and delivery to the various household, can be overcome without delay.
“For rural and remote areas such as Bario, Telang Usan, Baram, Lawas, Sri Aman dan Kapit, which are not reachable by road, the Sarawak government has enlisted helicopter services, which has started on April 5 and will continue until April 8, subject to weather conditions,” she continued.
Fatimah said this in response to the statement made by Chong in Sarawak Report dated April 5 titled “MONSTROUS! – How Sarawak’s GPS Have Played Politics With Hunger.”
She described it as baseless and not right while urging him not to make false accusations and baseless insinuations.
“Now is the time for us to concentrate all our efforts and resources towards containing the spread of Covid-19. We should give our priority to treat the sick, provide support to their family, render relevant assistance to the frontliners and also help those who are directly impacted by the movement control order,” she reminded.