By ILONA ANDREW
KOTA KINABALU: Kota Kinabalu MP Chan Foong Hin targets to distribute vegetables weighing five kilogramme each to 3,000 households within the Api-Api and Likas state constituencies within this week.
He said priority will be given to those living in terrace houses as well as low-cost flats and apartments.
Yesterday, the same amount of vegetables were distributed to about 1,500 households in Taman Seputih, Taman Sheraton, Taman Seri Damai, Dah Yeh Villa, Taman Fabar, Taman Seri Rasa, Taman Sinar Baru, Taman Selesa and Taman Alpha.
“My office has been purchasing, and will continue to purchase, fresh vegetables such as winter melons, cucumbers, cabbages, and ridge gourdes, among others, from Keningau farmers.
“The vegetables will be distributed to the people of KK as soon as possible to avoid vegetable dumping when they are spoilt,” he said in a statement on Wednesday.
Chan added that it is important to assist local farmers as they contribute to the state’s food security and buying the vegetables gives them incentive to continue replanting to ensure continuous supply of food and therefore preventing shortage in Sabah.
“Besides myself, the MP of Sandakan and State Assemblypersons of Inanam and Elopura have similarly assisted farmers in Kundasang by purchasing their vegetables to be distributed to the people,” he said.
The Sabah DAP secretary also included a notice in each package of vegetables to inform the recipients that the distribution of aid by his MP office was made possible thanks to the special touch-point allocation to MPs from Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Mohd Shafie Apdal.
The notice has a printed image of himself and the chief minister.
He said, it is common practice for politicians from across political divides to do the same to indicate who distributed the aid.
“It is important to emphasise that up to this day, as far as I know, the Perikatan Nasional central government has not distributed a single item of aid to the people in Kota Kinabalu.
If it is not for the state government, the residents of KK would not have received any aid whatsoever, be it face masks or vegetables,” said Chan, adding that he welcomes those who decline the masks or vegetables so that the aid can be distributed to those who are more in need.
Chan also emphasised that the distribution, which comes with a pack of five face masks, is not meant to be a “food basket”.
He said, a complete “food basket” to the underprivileged is mainly distributed by the Community Development Leader Unit (UPPM) in each constituency and that the aid distributed by his MP office is a general assistance to the residents of the city.
He added that he initially only wanted to distribute the face masks to every household within his parliamentary constituency but decided to add in the vegetables as he had extra allocation.