PETALING JAYA: The PAS-led Terengganu government’s Jawatankuasa Syura Rakyat (JSR) member has no right to confiscate items donated to flood victims, said National Unity and Social Development Minister Datuk Seri Dr Siti Zaharah Sulaiman.
Commenting on allegations that a JSR member had seized the items at an Umno service centre in Kampung Bukit Payung near Marang, Dr Siti Zaharah said yesterday:
“The man had no right to confiscate the goods. We gave the goods to the centre. And it is not right of them to deprive the people of such help.”
She said the families were given refuge at the Umno centre because the relief centre was full.
“Anyone who faces the same treatment and has items given by the Welfare Department taken away from them should report the matter to us,” she added.
“I have instructed the welfare officers to make sure they do not leave the relief centres. They must man the centres.
“They have to make sure that there is no politicising of any situation by irresponsible PAS members,” she added.
It was reported that at about 10am on Tuesday, a JSR member had allegedly seized items such as mats, bedsheets, towels and sarongs meant for 13 people from three families whose houses at the Bukit Payung low-cost housing scheme were flooded on Monday.
The man had allegedly defended his actions on the grounds that the Umno service centre at Kampung Bukit Payung was not a designated flood relief centre.
Bukit Payung constituency development officer Datuk Dr Abdul Latif Awang said on Wednesday that the man, however, did not take away food items such as rice, sardines and sugar, which were also donated by the Welfare Department.
He said the incident should not have occurred as Umno was helping all flood victims irrespective of party affiliation.