KUCHING: The National Security Council (NSC) has agreed to let the armed forces to make use of its assets like helicopters to deliver food and essential items to the hard-to-reach rural areas in Sarawak and Sabah during the Movement Control Order (MCO) period, said Senior Minister Daruk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
He said the committee is aware of challenges in supplying food and other essential items to those rural and remote areas in the two Borneon states during the MCO period, and has decided that the armed forces will help with manpower as well as their assets like helicopters to deliver the goods to those hard-to-reach communities.
“We (NSC) are aware in Sabah and Sarawak of the challenges in delivering food and other essential items to the rural and remote areas there. We have received some complaints from the longhouse folk among others.
“So in the meeting (with NSC) we have agreed for the armed forces to use their assets like helicopters to deliver the food and essential items to the rural areas in Sabah and Sarawak,” he said during a press conference in Kuala Lumpur today.
Ismail advised the folk in the rural areas in Sarawak and Sabah not to worry about the supply of food and essential items as the government will make sure that there will be enough supply delivered to them throughout this MCO period.
Yesterday (March 30), Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan told a press conference that the Ministry of Domestic Trade And Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP) has been tasked to ensure that supply of essential food items to all 800 points of sale in the state are sufficient.
He said that these points of sale (POS) which are mostly located in the rural areas, are allowed to operate from 7am to 4pm daily.
“The prices must be controlled following wholesale prices. KPDNHEP is to ensure that all POS have sufficient food stock so that the people in the rural areas will have a place to buy food at their respective areas,” he added.
According to Awang Tengah, all contracted transporters who bring food to the POS will be allowed by the police to make their deliveries without obstacles.
In addition, he said the state government would also request the armed forces to help with the delivery of essential food items to certain rural areas that would take time to reach.