KUALA LUMPUR, April 23 — On the eve of Ramadan, some residents under the Covid-19 lockdown order in Selayang still have not received food aid, a migrant worker said.

The migrant worker from Myanmar said that so far, only those in the Taman Sri Murni flats have received food packs while his relatives living in rented shoplots at Pusat Bandar Utara, Selayang have not.

“These areas that are under lockdown, there are about 10,000 people who live there.

“All of them have not received any food since the first day of the lockdown,” said the migrant worker who requested anonymity.

On Monday, Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said as there were 28 Covid-19 cases reported in the market area, with one death.

This had led to an enhanced movement control order (EMCO) enforced in residential areas surrounding the Selayang wholesale market, where most migrant workers reside.

Since then, complaints have emerged that some residents could not obtain food, prompting Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob to direct local authorities today to resolve the problem.

“We tried again to send food this morning, but were told to leave by authorities on the ground.

“We don’t know what else to do to help them. They are my friends and relatives. I can only cry,” said the migrant worker.

In other areas, which still have not received food supplies, the migrant worker said some of their friends managed to “sneak in” food through areas that are surrounded by barbed wire.

“Tomorrow we will be preparing for Ramadan. I really hope there will be food supplies for those who are in the lockdown areas,” said the migrant worker.

Another migrant worker who lives in Taman Sri Murni flats said they received food supplies yesterday, but was at a loss about what to do with the assortment.

“We received a bottle of cooking oil, a packet of milk powder and a five-kilogramme rice pack.

“But I wasn’t sure what I could cook with these items. For us, we still have some eggs, but last night, I just fried rice with oil and salt,” said the migrant worker who requested anonymity.

A general view of the Taman Sri Murni Apartments amid the enhanced movement control order in Selayang April 23, 2020. ― Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
A general view of the Taman Sri Murni Apartments amid the enhanced movement control order in Selayang April 23, 2020. ― Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

The migrant worker said, some families have no more food supplies and were reliant on the Malaysian government to provide food since they were not allowed to order their own food or groceries.

“But I think they could have at least sent us some eggs.

“This morning, an NGO group (non-governmental organisation) came by and said they would be able to help send more food.

“But there are so many of us here, I don’t think there will be enough food to go around more than 4,000 residents,” the migrant worker said.

Yesterday, residents in parts of Selayang living under heavy restrictions due to Covid-19 had pleaded for the government to allow sundry shops to open within the EMCO zone.

A Myanmar national said this would ease the minds of residents who were starting to fear possible starvation due to difficulty in obtaining food.

He said residents were not demanding to be provided with free food, but were only asking that stores selling essential goods be all

owed to open so they could stock up or resupply.