Warisan Urges No Favouritism In COVID-19 Assistance

KOTA KINABALU: Warisan Vice President Datuk Junz Wong on Saturday called on the Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) state government to avoid favouritism in the coming Covid-19 assistance.

In a statement released, he recalled the last assistance rolled out by the GRS government in October 2020.

“I remember the last round, the vast majority of Sabahans did not receive the ‘bakul makanan’ (food basket) promised by GRS.”

“GRS claimed last month that about 400,000 food baskets have been delivered. But where are these 400,000 food baskets? I did not see it. Most Sabahans did not receive it.”

“People are finding hard to receive assistance because of all sorts of requirements like compulsory registration under the e-kasih system.”

“Is GRS not aware that many hardcore poor families are not registered under e-kasih? So how?”

“In some cases, I even received complains that the leaders of GRS political parties practised favouritism. They will only send food baskets to members of their respective political party branch. If you are not a GRS member or supporter, they won’t help you.”

Junz who is also Tanjung Aru added, cited his constituency is an example of how government assistance should be given.

“In March 2020, when Warisan was government, I can proudly say that food packs were sent to almost every house.”

“Not every single home due to the time constrain back then, and total lockdown. But vast majority of houses in Tanjung Aru received food baskets from my office.”

“How was this possible?”

“I do not care who lives in the house, which political party they support, where do they vote. It doesn’t matter.”

“What is more important is to first and foremost make sure everyone receives a little bit of help.”

“Since I am the elected representative of Tanjung Aru, my office decided not to waste time compiling name lists, removing unqualified recipients, etc.”

“We used that little bit time we have to send food to every house first, by zone.”

“Make sure as many Sabahans as possible receive help.”

“By April 2020, in less than a month, my office managed to send out 11,100 food baskets in Tanjung Aru alone. Another 2,524 packs were sent to Tuaran, Beaufort, Kimanis, Keningau and so forth. Total 13,624 packs. The budget and breakdown was tabled and sent to the media back then. You can check.”

“So don’t tell me the GRS Sabah State Government who is now the same party as the Federal Government cannot do so.”

“Because I managed to do so.”

Towards the end, Junz concluded that favouritism must not continue.

“Everyone is affected by this pandemic. Nobody is unscathed.”

“So GRS cannot say who deserves to be helped and who does not deserve to be helped. The needs may be different, but everyone needs help.”