Food baskets to be doubled but less items


Vivian (left), Chan (centre), and Noorita.

KOTA KINABALU: All three DAP Sabah members of parliament who confirmed receiving RM300,000 allocation from the federal government, will take immediate steps to identify recipients, procure food supply, and arrange delivery of food baskets.

“We, the Democratic Action Party (DAP) Members of Parliament in Sabah representing Kota Kinabalu, Tenom and Sandakan, would like to confirm that we have duly received the sum of RM300,000 as announced by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin in our respective parliamentary service centre’s bank accounts.

“We have immediately started work, including sourcing for and procuring food, and to identify recipients.

Our service centres have been flooded with unprecedented number of calls regarding the above, and we seek your patience and understanding. We do not operate on a first come, first serve basis and we shall filter all applications accordingly and assist those who are in need the most and ensure there are no overlapping assistance,” said Chan Foong Hin (Kota Kinabalu), Noorita Sual (Tenom) and Vivian Wong Shir Yee (Sandakan).

They further urge that those who have recently received food aids to allow others who are more in need to receive food aid this time around.

“The guidelines issued to us have stated that each of the food baskets are to contain RM100 worth of food.

Under this guideline, we will only be able to distribute up to a maximum of 3,000 food baskets, which would cover less than 10% of voters in our respective constituencies. This is certainly not ideal,” said the three MPs in a joint statement on Tuesday.

In the circumstances, they have clarified and managed to obtain from the Implementation Coordination Unit (ICU) of the Prime Minister’s Department green light to reduce the value of each of the food baskets to RM50 instead, thus allowing them to distribute up to double the number of food baskets at 6,000 in their respective parliamentary constituencies and be able to assist more people.

“We believe that it is crucial to maximise outreach and assist as many people as possible.”
ICU has further confirmed that each and every Member of Parliament has the discretion to change the contents and specifications of the food baskets as he or she sees fit for his or her constituents, and that not every food basket has to contain the exact same items.

“We, the three Sabah DAP MPs, confirm that we will adhere to these guidelines by ICU and make the most sensible possible procurement decisions with the discretion accorded to us. Some of us may decide to reduce the quantity of certain items (i.e. from 10kg sack of rice to 5kg sack of rice) or decide to exclude certain items such as chili sauce, sweetened condense milk, sugar or other items in our food baskets, and we hope that our constituents will be understanding to the same. Rest assured that the costs of each of the food basket distributed will be around RM50 after adding on transportation and other logistical costs,” said the MPs.

“As each parliamentary constituencies has different circumstances and conditions, our respective offices will have different manners of collecting applications and identifying recipients of the food baskets. Please refer to our respective parliamentary offices for more information,” they added.