KUCHING: The Sarawak Chief Minister’s Department has issued an instruction to 11 Residents, 29 district officers (DOs) and seven sub-district offices to assist the federal Treasury in the distribution of vouchers and RM300 cash payments for recipients of the Bantuan Sara Hidup (BSH) welfare programme.
Deputy Chief Minister Douglas Uggah Embas said the instruction to assist recipients who did not have bank accounts under the programme rolled out by the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government was made via its letter dated Feb 1, 2019 (Reference No. (38) JKM/up/900-2/3/7BTW).
He said this assistance and cooperation of the district offices had greatly facilitated the cash payment of BSH to rural recipients at 31 locations in Sarawak from Feb 11 to March 7.
“Therefore, there is no such thing that the state government had given the instruction for the district offices not to assist with the BSH, as alleged by Chong (Deputy Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Chong Chieng Jen),” he said in a statement here today.
Uggah was responding to a statement made by Chong, who is also Sarawak PH chairman, yesterday claiming that several district offices had declined to facilitate the BSH programme in registering eligible Sarawak recipients.
Chong said he did not think those DOs were acting on their own and believed that they were taking instructions from the state government, unless they were lazy and were indeed acting on their own accord.
Uggah said to date, 21 locations had been successfully covered while the federal financial office reaffirmed that the district offices had provided the necessary assistance and cooperation without which the programme would not have been implemented smoothly.
He said the fact was that the BSH was implemented differently from the former BR1M (Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia), where the district offices were directly involved.
He clarified that BSH was handled by the federal Treasury and its agencies, with minimal involvement of the DOs.
“This is neither due to an instruction from the state government nor the reluctance or laziness of the DOs to assist.
“It is obvious that the deputy minister is not at all aware of how much the state government has assisted in this programme.
“He should have the decency to check his facts before coming out with these unsubstantiated allegations,” he added.