PETALING JAYA: The government has been urged to disclose the mechanism behind the distribution of rice and food basket aid, after many complaints of delays and confusion from the ground.
In a joint statement by Pakatan Harapan MPs from several Kuala Lumpur constituencies, they said the city folk were still asking how the rice would be distributed to them, who was eligible for the programme and how residents could apply to receive the aid.
The rice distribution programme was announced by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s during Federal Terittories Day on Feb 1. During his speech, he promised that the government would allocate 5,750 bags of rice for free every week to B40 residents living in Kuala Lumpur.
In the statement signed by Tan Kok Wai (Cheras), Fong Kui Lun (Bukit Bintang), Teresa Kok (Seputeh), Dr Tan Yee Kew (Wangsa Maju), Lim Lip Eng (Kepong), Fahmi Fadzil (Lembah Pantai), Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad (Setiawangsa), P Prabakaran (Batu) and Hannah Yeoh (Segambut), the MPs said residents were still in the dark over the status of the distribution, adding that the announcement had turned out “too good to be true”.
“Is the rice distribution being carried out by Perikatan Nasional’s (PN) political appointees, resulting in the aid not reaching the intended beneficiaries?”
Besides the provision of rice, the food basket programme consisting of basic food items worth RM100 for every household, involving RM50 million allocated to the Welfare Department, were similarly not going as planned.
“Although it has been three months since the declaration of emergency was announced the rakyat still do not know how they would be receiving the food baskets as promised by the PN government.”
They urged the PN government to inform the mechanism behind the distribution of rice and JKM food baskets, arguing that any delays will affect the rakyat who were becoming poorer by the day due to the Covid-19 pandemic.