KOTA KINABALU: While recipients of the MyKasih are thankful for the latest RM300 aid given by the government, some have expressed disappointment over the lack of goods to choose from when claiming their aid.
The MyKasih aid, meant for the disabled or Orang Kelainan Upaya (OKU) group, is a form of assistance that is divided into three payments - RM100 per month, to be claimed in the form of purchased goods at selected supermarkets.
There is a list of items that recipients could choose from when claiming the RM100 aid and all they had to do was produce the MyKad of the recipient to the cashier for verification.
A typist who only wanted to be known as Melinda, 34, who had just claimed her RM100, said she was given a list of items which she could choose from, but she had to go in search of the groceries herself.
"That I don’t mind, I just need to spend a little more time trying to find the items based on their exact names and barcodes written, and I could get help from the salesperson on duty," she said.
However, what made her feel humiliated was that when she arrived at the counter, with the items she selected from the list she held, she found that many were no longer available.
"The cashier could not scan the barcode, meaning I could not get the items I needed, such as rice," Melinda said, adding there was a line waiting behind her, making her feel worse.
The cashier was however kind enough to keep going to the display racks to try and get her something that could be scanned and taken, only to find that many were also not available.
In the end, she got over RM91 worth of goods, most of which were not necessarily essential for her and her family.
She said she had hoped to get at least a pack of rice, some biscuits of her choice, canned food and cooking oil of her choice but she only got cooking oil (not her chosen brand), some packet drinks, instant noodles, coffee powder and powdered creamer (which she did not need) among others.
"I am thankful, we make do with what is given, but do you know how it feels to be in a difficult situation and then not being able to get the essentials you need most, and then having everyone stare as the cashier tries and fails to register the goods?" she asked.
"Poor people have dignity too", she said, adding that if the government was sincere in helping the needy, why make it so difficult for them to get basic necessities?”
When asked, the cashier said a few weeks back, the MyKasih recipients could still easily get the goods they needed based on the list given but she was not sure why it wasn’t that way any more.
She was also unsure whether the other supermarkets involved in the MyKasih programme faced similar problems.
Melinda thanked the cashier named Luna, a 25-year-old woman from Keningau district, who did not show a tiny ounce of frustration or impatience when helping her find something that she could take home.
"I was on the verge of tears because I just felt so humiliated. She was so kind, speaking so nicely and always ready to help me try over and over again, thank you Luna," she said.
Some other recipients who were also busy trying to find essential goods using the list given, expressed their frustration over the situation.
"It is difficult enough that we had to search for the items on the list ourselves, but then to find that most of the things chosen are not available for us," said a mother who was with her disabled daughter.
Another said having to keep changing items and hoping that the barcode would get through was not only humiliating but a huge waste of time, more so with so many people waiting behind the line.