KUALA LUMPUR, April 26 ― A former federal minister has blasted the Perikatan Nasional government for practicing double standards and for allowing political affiliations to get in the way of their decision-making process in the distribution of aid during the movement control order (MCO).
Former human resources minister M. Kulasegaran, in lamenting the lack of assistance afforded to his constituents in Ipoh Barat, slammed Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rina Mohd Harun for her lackadaisical response and statements, conflicting that of other ministers.
He claimed that none of the purported 1,000 food baskets promised by Rina’s ministry reached any of the 1,500 families within the lower income group (B40) who pleaded for help within his constituency.
He said it was NGOs who have stepped in and reached out to at least 200 families so far.
“Sadly, with limited financial resources and manpower which can only come from the federal government and Rina’s ministry, there are many families and their children who are going to bed hungry every night during this extraordinary time,” Kulasegaran said in a statement today.
“We are now in the third phase of the MCO and yet we have received nothing; and this contradicts Rina’s statement in the media that no one will be left out in the aid distribution,” he said.
Kulasegaran explained how his team has had to absorb costs incurred so far, but financial constraints has seen it fail to reach out to every single person within the B40.
“With bigger urban constituency such as Ipoh Barat which has nearly about 200,000 people, my team and I do not have the financial strength to reach out to all within the B40 community which a responsible federal government should take upon themselves.
“Politics must never deny anyone the access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, safe and nutritious food,” he said.
The DAP man then revealed how his office was informed by the Department of Social Welfare (JKM) in the Kinta district that aid was already distributed to his constituency, but only to Umno, PAS, and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) divisions.
He then alleged this meant that Rina’s ministry had violated its own policies in the management and distribution of aid, calling it a ‘morally irresponsible’ move, again accusing the government of double standards.
Malaysia today enters its 40th day since the MCO was enforced by the government to contain the Covid-19 disease outbreak, a period in which only essential services have been allowed to operate.