KOTA KINABALU: Kampung Pamuntarian’s village chief will lodge a police report today over a fake photo purportedly showing the State Government’s recent food aid for the people in the village during the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, said Nabawan District Officer (DO) Virus Malitam.
Virus claimed that the person purposely posted a picture of a plate with little rice, a pack each of instant noodle and biscuit, and a small can of sardines on social media to tarnish the government’s image.
However, he said, another picture shared on social media showing a team preparing food aid for villagers was real.
“The one in the plate is not true, they deliberately spread. The village chief will make a police report tomorrow,” said Virus in a statement released here yesterday.
He said needy villagers were prioritized and received the basic food aid delivered to Kampung Pamuntarian recently.
However, the Nabawan DO said the village chief also distributed food to the rest of the villagers according to the Murut customs and beliefs called ‘tinauh’, to ensure every villager received a share.
He said that although the original purpose was only to distribute it amongst the needy, a share of smaller ration was received by every villager regardless of whether they were impoverished or not.
“The customs of the Murut people is like that, we have to respect. Everyone must get their tinauh so no one will be left out so it will look very little but that is the practice here.
“Our intention is not to give all. We want to give those who really need it first and the others will get it later,” said Virus.
Virus explained a Covid-19 Command Centre had been opened at the district office so the district office is always aware of the villagers’ needs and any assistance received would be channeled to Nabawan, Pagalungan and Pensiangan.
“Like recently, the donations from the state government through Datuk Peter Anthony for the needy people are rice, biscuits, instant noodles, sardines, sugar, salt and cooking oil which have been delivered.
“That is the first phase of assistance and after this we will surely receive more to be given to the needy people,” he assured.
He added, in addition to the government assistance, the private sector such as plantation companies would also directly hand out food assistance to the needy Nabawan people without having to go through the district office.
Virus shared, there are 135 villages in Nabawan, Pamuntarian, Pensiangan, Sapulut, Pagalungan and Tatalaan.