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(from left) Chan, Noorita and Vivian

7 July 2021

KOTA KINABALU: DAP's Members of Parliament will be distributing a total of 6,000 food baskets to residents of Kota Kinabalu, Tenom and Sandakan who are affected by the movement control order (MCO).

Chan Foong Hin (Kota Kinabalu MP), Noorita Sual (Tenom MP) and Vivian Wong (Sandakan MP) said the food baskets were made possible after RM300,000 was allocated to their respective parliamentary service centre's bank accounts from the federal government.

"The guidelines issued to us have stated that each of the food baskets is to contain RM100 worth of food. Under this guideline, we will only be able to distribute up to a maximum of 3,000 food baskets, which would cover less than 10 per cent of the residents in our respective constituencies. This is certainly not ideal.

"In the circumstances, we have clarified and managed to obtain from the Implementation Coordination Unit (ICU) of the Prime Minister’s Department green light to reduce the value of each of the food baskets to RM50 instead, thus allowing us to assist more people. We believe that it is crucial to maximise outreach and assist as many people as possible," they said in a joint statement, yesterday.

The three lawmakers stated that they have started sourcing for and procuring food as well as identifying recipients immediately after they received the allocations.

"Our service centres have been flooded with an unprecedented number of calls regarding the above, and we seek your patience and understanding.

We do not operate on a first-come-first-serve basis and we shall filter all applications accordingly and assist those who are in need the most and ensure there is no overlapping assistance.

We further urge that those who have recently received food aids allow others who are more in need to receive food aid this time around," they said.

According to them, the ICU has further confirmed that each and every MP has the discretion to change the contents and specifications of the food baskets as he or she sees fit for his or her constituents, and that not every food basket has to contain the exact same items.

"We will adhere to these guidelines by ICU and make the most sensible possible procurement decisions with the discretion accorded to us. Some of us may decide to reduce the number of certain items, such as giving a 5kg sack of rice instead of 10kg, or decide to exclude certain items such as chili sauce, sweetened condensed milk, sugar or other items in our food baskets.

"We hope that our constituents will be understanding to the same. Rest assured that the costs of each of the food baskets distributed will be around RM50.00 after adding on transportation and other logistical costs.

"As each parliamentary constituencies have different circumstances and conditions, our respective offices will have different manners of collecting applications and identifying recipients of the food baskets. Please refer to our respective parliamentary offices for more information."


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