Awang Tengah (third left) speaks at the press conference. Also seen are Naroden (left), Fatimah (second left), Dr Sim (fourth right) and others.

KUCHING: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg has approved an allocation of RM16.4 million for the distribution of essential food items to target groups throughout the state to ensure there is enough food for everybody during the movement control order (MCO), said Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan.

“The target groups will be determined by the Disaster Management Committee at the district or divisional level, with the cooperation of government agencies, state elected representative (ADUN) service centres and relevant non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

“They will decide who should be given the focus besides the existing list of target groups that they have," he told a press conference after the Food Supply Network Sub-committee meeting today.

Awang Tengah, who is also International Trade and Industry, Industrial Terminal and Entrepreneur Development Minister, explained that the Ministry of Domestic Trade And Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP) has been tasked to ensure that supply of essential food items to all 800 points of sale in the state are sufficient.

He said that these points of sale (POS) which are mostly located in the rural areas, are allowed to operate from 7am to 4pm daily.

“The prices must be controlled following wholesale prices. KPDNHEP is to ensure that all POS have sufficient food stock so that the people in the rural areas will have a place to buy food at their respective areas," he added.

According to Awang Tengah, all contracted transporters who bring food to the POS will be allowed by the police to make their deliveries without obstacles.

In addition, he said the state government will also request the armed forces (ATM) to help with the delivery of essential food items to certain rural areas that would take time to reach.

“The purpose to ensure that the assistance reached the main distribution centres in those rural areas and can be to be distributed to the various villages accordingly.

“Efficiency in delivery is very important," he said, while reminding all Sarawakians to abide to and comply with the MCO as to not jeopardise its objectives.

Also present were Minister of Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah, Local Government and Housing Minister Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian, Assistant Minister of International Trade and Industry, Industry Terminal and Entrepreneur Development Datuk Mohd Naroden Majais, and others.

>Sources: Borneo Post Online