Measures in place soon for improved delivery of controlled items in Sabah border areas, says Armizan

-Bernama filepic

KOTA KINABALU: Additional measures are being put in place for better delivery of controlled goods to border areas in Sabah, as well as to prevent leakages and smuggling of subsidised items.

Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Minister Datuk Armizan Ali said for this year, these measures would include the need to refer to the Statistics Department to get an estimate of household needs in a location so that adequate supply can be sent out as required.

A report on supply and sales has to be enforced so that items supplied to these areas reach the targeted groups and not distributed elsewhere, he said.

"A thorough mechanism needs to be considered for leakage-risk areas such as Pulau Sebatik, which is an island bordering Indonesia and there is risk of smuggling in the area," he said.

Armizan said this in a statement after visiting Sebatik Island to check on the borders as well as the supply and distribution of controlled goods on Sunday (March 3).

To reduce leakages and smuggling of controlled goods, he said it is vital that local authorities, enforcement agencies and local communities work together.

On related matters, he said the government had implemented a standardised pricing of controlled items and essential goods programmes.

"This is targeted for rural and island folks who pay more for transportation and operational costs," said Armizan.

Through this programme, he said the government would subsidise the cost of transportation by appointing transporters.

"A total of RM225mil has been approved for this programme in 2024," he said.

Armizan said there are 13 points of distribution and 32 points of sale in Tawau and Kalabakan while for the Sebatik zone, there are eight supply areas involved.

These are Wallace Bay, Mentadak, Sungai Tongkang, Bergusong, Sungai Pukul, Sungai Pisak-Pisak, Sungai Lahi and Sungai Laba with a total of 21 points of sale, he said.

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