Baram MP: We need info to help needy native folks

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 05 Aug 2003

MIRI: Lack of information from native folks in interior settlements is hampering the government’s effort to reach out to poverty-stricken individuals or needy families, such as widows, the aged, the handicapped and orphans. 

Baram MP Datuk Jacob Sagan said there were funds readily available to help these needy folks but there is not enough information on where they are staying or the type of assistance they needed. 

“Those in rural settlements should start some sort of a record and register those in their midst who are facing a lot of difficulties. 

“These needy folks should not be left to fend for themselves. Their plights must be highlighted to the authorities so that help can be extended to them. 

“There are funds that have been set aside to provide them a better life but there must be a list or record so that we will be able to recommend help for them,” he said during a dialogue with residents of Long Lama last week. 

Sagan said the authorities could provide financial assistance and also material goods and food aid for those found to be unable to provide for their own families. 

He said the longhouse chiefs and the village development committee can draw up some sort of a community plan to register the needy living in their area and then forward their cases to the state assemblymen or MPs and welfare officers. 

“Those living in poverty have a right to expect assistance in their very basic needs but the government would not be able to help them if their problems were not highlighted to us,” he stressed. 

Sagan pointed out that it was impossible for government officers to visit every interior settlement or longhouse to seek out those in need because of logistics and manpower constraints. 

In Baram constituency, which is bigger than Pahang, there are thousands of folks living in far away reaches that are inaccessible by road. 

The only way to reach them was by helicopter or river transport. 

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