Food packs bound for S’pore

Hasni (left) and Johor tourism, youth and sports committee chairman Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi (right) inspecting one of the food baskets headed to Singapore. - THOMAS YONG/The Star

ISKANDAR PUTERI: The state government has dispatched some 300 packs of food and essentials to Singapore in aid of Malaysians on the island republic.

Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad said a total of 1,000 packs would be sent in the first phase of the state government’s “Food Basket to Singapore” initiative, which was announced during the tabling of Johor Budget 2021.

“This is the first batch of food and we are working with the Malaysian High Commissioner in Singapore and Malaysia Association in Singapore to distribute the food.

“The food baskets are for the first phase and we will continue giving immediate aid from time to time until the border reopens, ” he said after launching the initiative.

He added that apart from dry food, the food basket also included other basic necessities such as blankets and personal hygiene kits.

Costing about RM30,000, the first batch of food baskets made its way to Singapore from Kota Iskandar here on Dec 3.

The Mentri Besar thanked those who assisted the state government in channelling the aid, including Wisma Putra, the Customs Department, the Immigration Department, Malaysian Quarantine and Inspection Services Department, Johor Corporation, Johor Public Transport Corporation, Southern Volunteers and Johor Bahru Heavy Machine Club.

“I hope the initiative will help Malaysians in Singapore who are affected by the closure of the border, ” he said.

Meanwhile, Johor MCA Youth chief Ling Tian Soon, who was also at the launch, said the programme showed the state government’s commitment towards Malaysians in Singapore.

“They have been going through a lot of difficulties since the closure of the border and may have even felt left out, ” he said.

He added that an average of 10 Malaysians in Singapore had been reaching out to Johor MCA on a weekly basis to ask for assistance on matters related to their return.

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