Monday, February 6

Rumours spark pandemonium at IRB office

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HUGE CROWD: Spawned by rumours of the paying out of the RM500 cash aid, BR1M applicants stormed the IRB office.

SIBU: A huge crowd ‘stormed’ the Inland Revenue Board (IRB) office here yesterday after rumours spread that the government’s RM500 cash aid had been disbursed.

Many of the hard-pressed applicants of the 1Malaysia People Assistance (BR1M) rushed from far-flung villages, with their families in tow, to town with the hope of getting the money, but ended up dejected.

Some were seen throwing tantrum at the counter staff, claiming that their friends had told them that the cash aid had been made out.

This compelled a staff to explain to them that the department was merely involved in processing the applications.

She told them that successful applicants would be notified by letters.

Meanwhile, when contacted yesterday, a political secretary to the Chief Minister Andrew Shilling advised the people to be patient and not rush to the IRB.

“The payment will be made out by the District Office in stages, where successful applicants will be notified through letters.”

The BN government, he added, walked the talk, and would deliver as promised to the people.

“Successful applicants need not worry as they will receive their cash aid soon.”

Nangka assemblyman Dr Annuar Rapaee also advised applicants to be patient as they would be notified by the relevant authority.

“They need not be unduly worried over the matter as it will be delivered accordingly.”

A local community leader Penghulu Enyang Menchol, in alleviating applicants’ worries, said successful applicants would be notified by letters.

He disclosed that community leaders such as Penghulus, Kapitans and Tuai Rumah had been entrusted to help deliver the letters.

He, however, said: “Those who have yet to receive their letters should wait for the Post Office to deliver to them.”

Enyang recalled that he had delivered some 300 letters since Saturday.

He bemoaned that he faced difficulties in delivering letters in Sibu Jaya housing estate as some addresses were difficult to locate.

“It is difficult to see clearly some of the house numbers.”  Vandalisation of road or lane signage further compounded his task.

Last month, pandemonium reigned at the IRB office here when a mammoth crowd frantically pushed their ways through to submit their BR1M application forms.

It was believed that there was a miscommunication on the deadline for submission, prompting the people to force their way into the office as they feared missing out on the opportunity.

Then, there were those who wanted to obtain the application forms at the main entrance counters which were meant for submission of forms.