Sarawak govt sabotaging Bantuan Sara Hidup assistance, says deputy minister

Deputy Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Chong Chieng Jen (seated centre) meeting reporters after chairing the Sarawak Pakatan Harapan meeting.

KUCHING: Deputy Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Chong Chieng Jen today accused the Sarawak government of sabotaging the welfare assistance offered by the Pakatan Harapan government to the people.

He said some district offices, especially in Bau, Serian and Simanggang, had refused to facilitate the Bantuan Sara Hidup (BSH) programme rolled out by the federal government.

They were not helping people to register for the aid, for example, he added.

“I believe they (district officers) have received instructions from the state government.

“The instructions definitely did not come from us. It is either that or they’re just too lazy to do so,” he said after chairing the Sarawak PH meeting here today.

He said the government planned to have a comprehensive database for BSH to reduce leakages.

He said PH’s focus and priority is to work together as a team and make sure the people received all the benefits from the federal government.

Chong said there are over 20 ministries at the federal level and each of them had its own policies that could benefit the people in Sarawak.

“Our role here is to act as a bridge between these ministries and the people in Sarawak.”

Earlier, he welcomed new members to join PPBM in the state. To date, 18,700 members in Sarawak have registered online to join the party.

“The Sarawak PH is now a four-party coalition and we will go into the state election as one — Pakatan Harapan,” he said, adding that they will be having their convention in Kuching within two months.

He said negotiations on seats for the 2021 state elections were currently in progress.

“It is difficult but there will be further meetings to decide on the seats. What is more important here is for us to work together as a team.”

Chong said they had discussed their strategy in taking on Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) in the upcoming state elections during their meeting today.