Let volunteers carry on feeding the poor, says DAP rep

Volunteers of the Feed the Need group handing out food aid in Kuala Lumpur earlier this month before the national shutdown. (NFN pic)

PETALING JAYA: A state assemblyman has urged the government not to bar volunteer groups from delivering food and other aid to the poor during the national shutdown.

The Selangor state assembly member for Kampung Tunku, Lim Yi Wei, said a government directive that volunteers stop sending aid directly would be “highly inefficient” and the poor may not get the food or aid as soon as they needed it.

“The federal government may not have a complete list of vulnerable communities that need urgent assistance,” she said. “The fact is, certain communities remain underserved, showing that they have existed long outside the government’s radar.”

Lim also said that volunteer groups did not seek to supersede government action and they only wanted to complement the policy.

“Decentralised movement ensures that food and other essentials are delivered to those in need as soon as possible without going through the various stages of the supply chain.

“This is especially true of cooked food which inevitably will result in wastage, rotting, contamination,” she added.

Earlier today, senior minister Ismail Sabri said non-governmental organisations should stop delivering food and other forms of assistance directly to the poor communities.

Instead, the food or assistance should be sent to a collection point, such as those operated by the Welfare Department, and it will be distributed by Rela or army officers later.