Seek aid from proper channels, says coordinator

The white flags at Lai Chee Lane which residents later took down after receiving food aid.

RESIDENTS putting up white flags to request for food aid have been asked by a local official to take them down as, in his view, there are better ways to get help.

Last week, households in Lai Chee Lane in Sibu who had run out of food supplies raised the white flag. This prompted others from nearby areas to follow suit.

Sibu Division Disaster Management Committee coordinator Dr Annuar Rapaee, in a Facebook live session on July 3, said there were proper channels for the needy to seek food aid instead of putting up white flags.

The Nangka assemblyman said there were many kind souls and NGOs out there who were ready to offer assistance.

“In Sibu, there are many kind people and I am sure they are willing to help.

“There are also NGOs, the Welfare Department, mosques, churches and temples.

“Those affected can contact them, instead of raising the while flag,” he said, adding that individuals and NGOs were already helping to distribute food to those in need.

He said a long-term solution would have to be found to overcome the problem of residents without sufficient food.

“We need to work together to overcome the Covid-19 pandemic so that when things get back to normal, the livelihood of the people can get better,” he said.

According to Dr Annuar, the state government had distributed food aid three times since last year.

Besides that, those in the B40 category can apply for the six-month RM200 financial aid under Bantuan Kasih Sayang Sarawak (BKSS) 6.0.

The Federal Government had allocated RM300,000 to each parliamentary constituency as food aid recently and Dr Anuar urged those who run out of food to reach out to their MPs.

“In Sibu, we have two parliamentary constituencies, these being Lanang where the MP is Alice Lau, and Bandar Sibu under Oscar Ling.

“Those who need food aid can apply,” he said.

Sibu Lakis (Islamic Welfare Trust Board) is offering its hall for Ling to use.

“Lakis is offering Oscar the hall for distribution of the food aid.

“We can also assist him. I hope to receive a positive response from him,” Dr Annuar added.

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