SIBU: Pandemonium broke out at the Inland Revenue Board here yesterday when a huge crowd of people frantically pushed and jostled their way through to submit their 1Malaysia People Assistance (BR1M) application forms.
It was believed that the melee was sparked by a miscommunication on the deadline for submission, causing the people to rush into the office as they feared missing out on the opportunity to get the government’s RM500 aid.
The mess was further compounded by the fact that some of the people present had wanted to get the application forms at the counters meant for form submission.
An officer was seen yelling through a megaphone to calm the huge crowd as tempers flared.
The security guards present were seen having a tough time trying to keep law and order.
Many elderly people were seen sandwiched among the crowd while babies and young children cried.
The crowd spilling into the road caused a bumper-to-bumper traffic crawl along Island Road, where the IRB office is located, and the incessant honking of the enraged drivers further raised the temperature of the whole situation.
An applicant from a nearby longhouse, who wished only to be identified as Danny, said he came early to submit his form.
“I thought we have to submit by today (yesterday), and that was why I rushed all the way here. Later, I found out that we have ample time to do so as the closing date is Jan 10 next year.”
By 10.30am, the crowd swelled to a mammoth size, and some had to be contented with standing at nearby buildings as the main entrance was literally jam-packed.
Penghulu Enyang Menchol suggested a large banner be hung in front of the building to better inform the people about the deadline for submissions.
“Information should be disseminated through the media such as radio and newspapers to keep the people informed and prevent any unnecessary hassle.”
Menchol also suggested that Rela help to control the crowd.