Blame game continues in aid distribution for Sabah’s poor

Rice packets arrive at Sabah’s west coast, to be distributed to villagers. Some RM20 million has been allocated by the state government for essential items.

KOTA KINABALU: The distribution of aid in Sabah continues to be mired in allegations of political favouritism, with some accusing “little Napoleons” from the ruling Warisan party of blocking essential items for villagers.

They also accuse local officials of discriminating against those who do not support Warisan.

In Papar, odd job worker Phillip Michael claimed he had not received state aid.

“We shall see whether they can still win in the 15th general election,” he told FMT, adding that his family recently received food aid from a former Sabah elected representative.

An official, however, denied claims of discrimination.

Anthony Suamin, one of 3,000 grassroots leaders appointed by the state to distribute aid, said many people were confused between federal and state assistance

Suamin said his aid recipients list could be outdated and as such could have missed some families living together in the same house.

“I have no idea that our list was an outdated list as it was about five to six years ago,” he said.

Suamin said Sabah villagers receive assistance from three parties: the local MP, the state government and private donors.

“Some of the assistance had overlapped. There’s no control. We want to pool all these resources into one, so that all will get assistance,” said Suamin.

In Kota Marudu, a resident accused the Village Community Management Council (MPKK) of distributing aid only to those who support Warisan.

But he said Warisan leader and Chief Minister Shafie Apdal is not entirely to blame, as grassroots leaders who were acting like “little Napoleons.”

“I know the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission will be checking on them soon,” he added.

It is understood that the Sabah government has allocated RM100,000 for aid to each district to help people cushion the impact of the movement control order to contain the Covid-19 virus.

Some RM20 million has been allocated specifically to supply essential food items such as rice and flour to all villages in Sabah.

The state government has also approved grants to 15 Sabah MPs from the ruling parties.

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